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Present Time and Stative Verbs Difference (PDF)


In this post we will learn present simple, present progressive tense and stative verbs. We use continuous tenses to describe an ongoing action and stative verbs describe a state of being.

Present Simple Tense

The present tense is the base form of the word.

➮I walk
➮You sing
➮We run
➮He cuts
➮She loves
➮It comes
➮We look
➮They sleep

Present Progressive Tense

The present continuous is made from the present tense of the verb be and the –ing form of a verb:

➮I am sleeping
➮You are talking
➮He is running
➮She is sitting
➮It is coming
➮We are looking
➮They are leaving



Stative Verbs in English

They express a state -not an action- and are not used in Progressive Tenses.

Verb of the senses:
feel, hear, see, smell, taste, notice, etc.

Wrong: I am hearing you.
Correct: I hear you.

Verbs of emotions and preferences:
like, dislike, love, hate, fear, mind, want, wish, need, prefer, admite, etc.

Wrong: I am wanting it.
Correct: I want it.

Verbs of perception, belief, knowledge, ownership:
think, believe, know, understand, expect, remember, forget, hope, have, own, belong (to), etc.

Wrong: I am remembering your name.
Correct: I remember your name.

Other verbs which describe permanent states:
be,cost, weigh, seem, appear, consist (of), etc.


Some stative verbs can be used in the progressive forms when they express actions rather than states, but with a difference in meaning.

State: They have a wonderful house.
Action: I am having a bath.

State: I see Mary coming towards us.
Action: I am seeing the doctor tomorrow.

State: I think she is clever.
Action: I am thinking of buying a new car.

State: Do I smell smoke?
Action: Why are you smelling the milk? Do you think it is gone off?

State: He is very selfish. (that is his character)
Action: Why is he being selfish? (why is he behaving so selfishly?)

Listen, look and watch, though verbs of the senses, can also be used in the progressive tenses because they express voluntary actions.

James is watching the new.
She is looking our way.
I am listening to you.

Download free ‘Stative Verbs List and Exerices’ down below.


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