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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 2

    Red face need help


    May i know what is stative and active verbs?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 1,507

    Re: need help

    I think you may be a little confused about terminology: ACTIVE is a term that refers to the voice of the verb, its opposite being PASSIVE. STATIVE, on the other hand, is a type of verb, its opposite being DYNAMIC. I'll assume, then that what you're asking about is stative vs. dynamic verbs.

    Stativity is essentially a structural classification of the verb: a verb classified as stative lacks progressive tense forms (at least, without change of meaning). Thus, the verbs 'believe, know' and 'like' are stative, since we cannot say *I am believing, *he was knowing, *we are liking, etc. What they share in terms of meaning is that they refer to states/conditions of being rather than denoting actions, as do the majority of verbs, which are termed 'dynamic'.

    Some verbs may have both stative and dynamic forms, such as the verb 'have', which, when stative, means 'possess/be the owner of', as in

    He has a big dog.

    (Not: * having....)

    while its dynamic form has a variety of meanings denoting activity of some kind, e.g. 'eat' in

    He is having breakfast.

    There may, however, be a much less significant semantic difference between corresponding stative and dynamic forms of the same lexical verb. In the case of 'live', for example, we can often use the two forms almost interchangeably. That is to say, stative

    I live in London.

    is virtually identical in meaning to dynamic

    I am living in London.

    , the only difference being that the former tends to denote a permanent place of residence (or, at least, one expected to be so), whereas the latter - in keeping with the normal meaning of a progressive tense-form - denotes residence viewed as, or as likely to be, only temporary.


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