Stative Verbs 3: I trust you, but ….

By | September 16, 2020

Cat %26; Dog.jpg

In the previous two posts, we studied two 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 Run

2 Talk

3 Know

4 Write

5 Trust

6 Study

7 Remember

8 Sit

9 Forget

10 Believe

Question 1

Which verbs are ‘action verbs’ and which ones are about the mind?

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 knowing / know it, but I still am not believing / do not believe it.

He says he‘s studying /studies at the moment, but I am not believing / don’t believe him.

Discussion

You probably realised that run, talk, write, study, and sit are action verbs, and the others are verbs of the mind. These ‘mind verbs’ (such as know, trust, remember, and forget) 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 writing this post].

Mind 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. That cat trusts the dog, but is he making a mistake?

Author: Andrew

Andrew Guilfoyle Cambridge CELTA, Cambridge DELTA, Cambridge CELTA teacher-trainer, M.Ed