In the previous three posts, we studied three kinds of stative verbs. ‘Stative’ means ‘about states’ or unchanging conditions. Let’s move on to another kind. Look at the following 10 verbs, then answer the three questions which follow.

1 Vote

2 Love

3 Copy

4 Run

5 Adore

6 Hate

7 Trust

8 Detest

9 Call

10 Destroy


Question 1

Which verbs are ‘action verbs’ and which ones are about emotion?

Question 2

What’s the grammatical difference between them? Hint: try putting them all in a logical sentence using the continuous tense – that is, using ‘to be ~ing’ for something happening around a point in time. For example, use the pattern: “I am [V]ing ……. right now.”

Question 3

Now, choose the correct tense of the verbs in the following two sentences.

I am hating / hate that politician, so I am not voting / don’t vote for him this election.

I am preferring/ prefer the other man, so I’m glad he is running / runs for president.



You probably realised that vote, copy, run, call, and destroy are action verbs, and the others are verbs about emotion. These ‘emotion verbs’ (such as love, adore, hate, trust, and detest) cannot be used in the ~ing form; however, action verbs can, especially when talking about a point in time e.g. right now. [Right now, I am listening to some music].

Emotion verbs’ are one sort of ‘stative’ verbs. Students often make the mistake of using them in the continuous tense, but now, you won’t make that mistake, I hope.

By the way. Look at the picture at the top of this post. Maybe you like this guy, but remember, he's thinking of eating you.


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