Non-action verbs (also called stative verbs) usually describe states or situations but not actions. Non-actions verbs are not usually used in the progressive even when they describe a situation that continues.
- I want to leave now. NOT I’m wanting to leave now.
Non-action verbs do the following:
- express emotions (hate, like, love, want)
- Mohammed wants to leave right now. NOT Mohammed is wanting to leave right now.
- describe perception and the senses (hear, see, smell, taste, feel, notice)
- She sees the bird. NOT She is seeing the bird.
- describe mental states (know, remember, believe, suppose, think, believe, understand)
- I remember this song. NOT I am remembering this song.
- show possession (have, own, possess, belong)
- I have a headache. NOT I am having a headache.
- describe appearance (seem, be, appear, sound, look, seem)
- You look happy today. NOT You are appearing happy today.
Be careful! Some verbs can have both a non-action and an action meaning.
- The soup tastes good. Try some. (non-action)
- She’s tasting the soup to see if it needs more salt. (action)
- I think Indian food is spicy. (non-action)
- I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 100. (action)
COMMON NON-PROGRESSIVE VERBS