Skills

Levels

Non-Action Verbs

Some verbs cannot be used in the progressive tenses. They are called non-action verbs.

Non-action verbs indicate state, sense, desire, possession, or opinion. The most common non-action verbs are:

be*

seem

appear*



(existence)

look*

sound*

smell*

taste*

feel*

(senses)

like

want

prefer

love*


(desire)

have*

own

possess



(possession)

think*

believe

consider*



(opinion)

Note the usage in the following sentences:

Mr. Tactful is seeming like a nice guy.

(Wrong!)

Mr. Tactful seems like a nice guy.

(Correct)

This salad is tasting delicious.

(Wrong!)

This salad tastes delicious.

(Correct)

I am liking banana cream pie.

(Wrong!)

I like banana cream pie.

(Correct)

Some verbs have both action and non-action meanings. They are indicated by an asterisk* in the table above. The situation determines whether the action or non-action form of the verb is used.

Those flowers look beautiful.

(Non-action)

Flora is looking out the window.

(Action)

I think that's a great idea.

(Non-action)

I am thinking about my upcoming speech.

(Action)

We have a brand new car.

(Non-action)

We are having a party this weekend.

(Action)

Craig is a real estate agent.

(Non-action)

Billy is being naughty today.

(Action)

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Last updated: 15 February, 2010 02:43:16