Stative verbs

Stative verbs

Do you know how to use stative verbs like think, love, smell and have? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how stative verbs are used.

I think that's a good idea.
I love this song!
That coffee smells good.
Do you have a pen?

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Stative verbs: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

Stative verbs describe a state rather than an action. They aren't usually used in the present continuous form.

I don't know the answer. I'm not knowing the answer.
She really likes you. She's really liking you.
He seems happy at the moment. He's seeming happy at the moment.

Stative verbs often relate to:

  • thoughts and opinions: agree, believe, doubt, guess, imagine, know, mean, recognise, remember, suspect, think, understand
  • feelings and emotions: dislike, hate, like, love, prefer, want, wish
  • senses and perceptions: appear, be, feel, hear, look, see, seem, smell, taste
  • possession and measurement: belong, have, measure, own, possess, weigh.

Verbs that are sometimes stative

A number of verbs can refer to states or actions, depending on the context.

I think it's a good idea.
Wait a moment! I'm thinking.

The first sentence expresses an opinion. It is a mental state, so we use present simple. In the second example the speaker is actively processing thoughts about something. It is an action in progress, so we use present continuous.

Some other examples are:


I have an old car. (state – possession)
I'm having a quick break. (action – having a break is an activity)


Do you see any problems with that? (state – opinion)
We're seeing Tadanari tomorrow afternoon. (action – we're meeting him)


He's so interesting! (state – his permanent quality)
He's being very unhelpful. (action – he is temporarily behaving this way)


This coffee tastes delicious. (state – our perception of the coffee)
Look! The chef is tasting the soup. (action – tasting the soup is an activity)

Other verbs like this include: agree, appear, doubt, feel, guess, hear, imagine, look, measure, remember, smell, weigh, wish.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Stative verbs: Grammar test 2

Language level

Average: 4.3 (84 votes)

Hi Rsb,

Complete is an adjective or a verb (see the links to the Cambridge Dictionary). The adverb form is completely

I'm afraid I don't really understand what the first sentence means. Does it mean 'see the person's whole body'? If so, if would be more usual to say Can I see all of you?.

I hope that helps!


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Rsb on Sat, 20/03/2021 - 06:16

In reply to by Jonathan R

Yes the whole body. Can I see you all- all an adverb Can I see you full- full an adverb Can I see you completely, is that correct

Hi Rsb,

Sentence 3 is correct. Sentence 2 has full, which is an adjective, but you could change it to the adverb fully

Sentence 1 is a bit different because you all means 'every person' or 'everybody in a group'.


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Rsb on Wed, 24/03/2021 - 06:18

In reply to by Jonathan R

Wow thanks sir. I like your explanation Jonathan

Submitted by Rsb on Wed, 24/03/2021 - 06:24

In reply to by Jonathan R

Sir, 'Can I see all of you' or can I see you all It senses every person or everybody in a group not a single person right But can I see you fully/Completely- it senses single person
Profile picture for user Jonathan R

Submitted by Jonathan R on Wed, 24/03/2021 - 12:05

In reply to by Rsb


Hi Rsb,

That's right! But Can I see all of you? has both meanings (i.e., it can refer to a single person or many people).


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Thu, 18/03/2021 - 10:44

I think 'Live, Stand, Sit, and Wear' are also examples of stative verbs, aren't they ?

Hello SonuKumar,

I would not categorise these verbs as stative. They can all be used with progressive aspect, for example, and can also be used as imperatives.


I would caution against seeing stative and dynamic as fixed, binary categories. It is a useful way to think about verbs at times but there are many verbs which do not fit neartly into one or other group, or which can be found in either depending on the context.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Wed, 17/03/2021 - 20:32

Sir, Is Live a stative verb if yes then how ?
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Thu, 18/03/2021 - 07:56

In reply to by SonuKumar


Hello SonuKumar,

I'm afraid we can't provide support for this sort of query. Please check with another more specialised source.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team