Action and non-action verbs

Non-action verbs' list

Hear- see- sound- believe- think- understand- know- mean- be – exist- seem- look like- own- have- possess- belong- need- want- prefer- like- love- hate- forget- remember- agree- disagree

Non-action verbs' definition

Non-action verbs are generally not used in progressive tenses. These verbs express a situation that exists, not an action in progress.

Example: I know her. She is my classmate.

Example: She disagrees with me all the time.

Example: That dog belongs to my neighbor.

  • ‘Think’ and ‘have’ can be used in the progressive form.
  • When ‘think’ expresses thoughts that are going through a person’s mind, it can be used in the progressive form; but when it means ‘ believe’, it can’t be progressive.

Example: I am thinking about my granny right now. (here it means thoughts)

Example: She was thinking about her childhood memories. (Here it means thoughts)

Example: I think she is not worth it. ( here it means believe, and it can’t be progressive)

  • When ‘have’ has a meaning other than owning something, it can be used in the progressive form. Have can mean: have a good/bad/great/terrible time, have a problem, have trouble, have fun, have breakfast/ lunch/ dinner/ brunch/ a snack, have company, have an operation, …

In these cases, have can be used in the progressive form.

He has a nice house. (here it means owns)

They are having fun at the party. 

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