Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you ever talk about your feelings?

Do you struggle to come up with the right verb or words to talk about your feelings in English?

We’re going to look at stative verbs in English and how they can help you to express your thoughts or mental state.

This can make a big difference in the way that you speak, it can help to polish up your English, and ensure that you sound like a native.

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It’s All About The Details

Do you tend to notice the small details?

You will see the word “notice” used in that question, and that’s something worth noting.

“Notice” is a stative verb, and that’s the focus for today so that you come to really understand this aspect of English.

You would say something like “I notice things”, and that’s a very common use of a stative verb.

These are verbs that are more about a mental state rather than an action.

Do you feel unsure or worry if you’re making mistakes that are flagging you as a lower level second language speaker?

This can create fear and we want you to be fearless!

This confidence and certainty comes from knowing you’re talking like a native, and this is one area to focus on in this journey.

In the last episode in our grammar series, we shared how to use the past progressive to hook your audience when telling a story.

Today is our next installment , and you will learn how to use stative verbs in conversation to sound like a native.

You will come to realize just how important this is and what a difference this can make in your conversations.

How To Use Stative Verbs

You might wonder how exactly you might use stative verbs in a conversation.

We’ve said that stative verbs are about expressing a state of mind.

These are not the typical types of verbs that you use to express action, and that’s an important point to understand.

We use stative verbs when talking about our likes, dislikes, feelings, and emotions.

That tells you just how different this is and how it’s a unique type of verb to use.

A stative verb is a state of mind, or a description of a mental state/condition.

So this is much more about the mental than the physical action.

A good example of this would be to say “I like chocolate chip cookies!”

You would never say, “I am liking chocolate chip cookies.”

So this is an aspect of English that has a unique place in conversation, and you want to be sure that you are using these correctly.

Why Is It So Important To Use Stative Verbs Correctly?

You can get a feel for the times when you may use stative verbs.

You can see that they are about expressing a state of mind, and the way in which you do this is important as you might expect.

Using stative verbs incorrectly sounds wrong to natives, even if they’re not sure why.

This is one of those mistakes that you don’t want to make, though you may not truly understand at first.

Natives may not even understand the actual mistake initially, but they know when something sounds wrong.

This is an area where you can really work to fine tune your English speaking and even your comprehension.

It can help to look at a sentence said in the correct way using a stative verb such as “I notice you’re running more lately. Well done!”

Compare that to the wrong way of saying it which would be “I am noticing you’re running more lately.”

The present progressive in the second sentence is awkward and a bit weird, and this doesn’t sound right to a native.

It’s the difference in time–like the mental condition lasts longer than just right now in what you are noticing.

So as you can see it is truly important to use this the right way.

This is another way to help elevate your English speaking, and it will help you to sound like a native.

How Is The Grammar Structure Different?

It can help if you understand the way in which stative verbs appear or the structure that is used with them.

The main thing to remember is that we don’t use stative verbs in the present progressive tense.

This is also called the present continuous tense, because it’s a present action that’s continuous.

For stative verbs there is no continuous action, but rather it’s a state of being.

We use it in the present simple tense, even if it’s happening right now.

This is because it describes a general truth, or something that is true past and present, not just right now.

So you can understand the grammatical structure which is an important part of this.

Three Main Categories of Stative Verbs

You will see below that there are three main categories of stative verbs.

We’ll share a verb from each today with example sentences.

  1. Thoughts and opinions: A good example of this is “remember.” You would say “I remember your name.” You would never say “I am remembering your name.” Other examples include believe, agree, doubt, guess, imagine, know, mean, think, and understand. Many of these words can also be used as actions in a different context. You could say “I am agreeing with you!” You could also say “I am thinking about that right now.”
  2. Feelings and emotions: A good example of this would be “prefer.” You could say “Do you prefer fish or chicken?” You would not say “Are you preferring fish or chicken?” Other good examples include dislike, hate, like, love, want, wish, and feel.
  3. Possession and measurement: A good example of this “belong.” You would say “Does this belong to you?” You would not say “Is this belonging to you?” Other good examples include have, measure, own, weigh, possess.

These can help you to see how they are used, and good examples of stative verbs.

Role Play of Examples

It can be quite helpful to contrast stative and non-stative verbs, which is what you will see here.

In this sort of role play or example, look at this as a psychologist talking to a patient.

This can show you how you can use stative verbs to talk about your state of mind and how you feel.

  • Feel: “How are you feeling today?” You could respond with “I feel ___” Then you would go in depth with discussing your feelings. You wouldn’t say “I’m feeling___” in this context.
  • Like: “Do you like your job?” You could respond with “I like…..” You wouldn’t say “I’m liking…..”
  • Want: “Is there anything you want to change about your life?” You would respond with “I want…” You wouldn’t say “I’m wanting…”
  • Measure: “How do you measure success?” You would say “I measure success by…” You would not say “I’m measuring success by…”
  • Prefer: “Do you prefer writing about your feelings, or talking about them with a close friend?” There is a lot to this, but the best way to respond is “I prefer…..”

These are all great examples of how you might use stative verbs in your conversations.

This example helps to illustrate what it might be like between a patient and their psychologist, and it shows you the way in which you can talk about your feelings.

This is a very important aspect of English, and it will be one that you want to work on to perfect it.


We want you to be able to sound like a native, and this is an important part of that!

Today’s episode will help you to use stative verbs correctly, so that you can avoid common errors made by second language learners.

Don’t make the common errors that flag you as a lower level speaker, and though this is something that seems small it matters.

Take your time, think things through, and slow down to ensure that you say the right things.

This is how to sound like a native and to ensure that you don’t make common mistakes–it’s a great way to really fine tune and master your English speaking.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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