State verbs

Some verbs are not normally used in their continuous form. They describe states that stay the same rather than actions or events that change.

The most common state verb is to be.

  1. States, e.g. be, have, contain.

    • She has blonde hair.
    • I am the king of Kongo.
  2. Mental processes, e.g. believe, feel, remember, realize, suspect.

    • I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas.
    • The founders of the United States of America believed that all men were created with equal authority.
  3. Emotional states e.g. love, want, prefer, doubt

    • I doubt there will be a free TV set.
    • She doesn't like to admit to mistakes.
    • The boys prefer dogs to cats.
  4. Senses (e.g. smell, hear, see):

    • I can smell something burning.
    • She could easily see that I was sweating.