Lesson 1 - Curs Engleza

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STATIVE VERBS AND COLLOCATION

STATIVE VERBS

A. Not normally used in the Continuous – they describe states that stay the same rather than actions or events that change. The most common stative verb is BE. Others include:

1. emotional states (love, doubt, care) and senses (smell):

I only want to ask you a simple question.

Do you prefer to travel by bus or by train?

2. mental processes (believe, feel, remember):

Do you realise / Are you realising what they’re doing?

I suspect / am suspecting we’re not making as much profit as we should.

I understand / am understanding everything you’re saying.

3. verbs that describe a sense of permanence because they are not actions:

How many cars does / is your family own / owning?

I think what we need / are needing for the trip depends / is depending on the weather.

This dress fits / is fitting me perfectly.

B. When stative verbs can be used in the Continuous.

1. when they have an active meaning:

I’m tasting this to see if there is enough salt.

She’s being rather obstinate at the moment.

2. when they emphasise change or development:

More schools will be including Shakespeare in their syllabuses.

3. sometimes using Simple or Continuous involves a change in meaning:

I’m thinking about going to see Hamlet. (= trying to reach a decision)

I think Shakespeare’s brilliant. (= my opinion)

I’m seeing her later. (= I have an appointment)

I see what you mean. (= I understand)

4. we use verbs that refer to physical feeling (hurt, ache, feel) in the Simple or Continuous with little or no difference in meaning:

My head aches / is aching.

How are you feeling / do you feel now?

PRACTICE

1. In the following pairs of sentences decide if one or both are acceptable.

1. a. I’m not liking ice-cream.

b. I don’t like ice-cream.

2. a. The verdict depends on whether the jury believed the key witness.

b. The verdict is depending on whether the jury believed the key witness.

3. a. I can see somebody moving in the trees over there.

b. I keep seeing somebody moving in the trees over there.

4. a. He is believing that aliens kidnapped his daughter.

b. He believes that aliens kidnapped his daughter.

5. a. She has a baby boy.

b. She’s having a baby boy.

6. a. Are you still feeling sick?

b. Do you still feel sick?

7. a. I’ve been thinking about you for some time.

b. I think about you all the time.

8. a. This box is containing all the relevant documents.

b. This box contains all the relevant documents.

9. a. He’s an idiot.

b. He’s being an idiot.

10. a. Understanding how to use computers is essential in this job.

b. I understand how to use computers and so I can do this job.

2. Put the corresponding letter of the right word into the blank of each sentence.

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