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UNIT 15: STATIVE VERBS

When you studied English at a lower level, you learned that you usually use simple present, not present continuous,
with certain verbs:
Right: Simple Present

Wrong: Present Continuous

They are knowing the answer.


Im loving my mother.
Shes only weighing 95 lbs. She needs to eat more.
more

1. They know the answer.


2. I love my mother.
3. She only weighs 95 lbs.* She needs to eat more.
*about 44 kilos

The verbs you see above are called stative verbs. Just as you dont usually use them with present continuous, you
pres
dont usually use them with present perfect continuous, either. Here is a list of some common stative verbs:
Possession: have, own, possess, belong
Thinking: know, understand, believe
Emotion: like, dislike, love, hate

Measurement: cost, weigh (intransitive)


Relationship: concern
State: be

Right:

Wrong:

4. I have a car. Ive had a car for two years.

Ive been having a car for two years.


years

5. Were worried about her. Shes down


to 95 lbs. She has never weighed so little
in her whole life.

She has never been weighing so little in her


whole life.

6. Ive never liked him, not since the first day


I met him.

Ive never been liking him.

7. She has never believed in God.

She has never been believing in God.


God

8. He has been absent every single day this


week, and Im tired of doing his work for
him.

He has been being absent every single


day this week.

COMMON EXCEPTIONS

When have doesnt mean to possess or own (

, poseer, ser dueo de), it can often be continuous:


,

9.

They have a party every Friday night. / Theyve had a party every night this week. / Theyve been having a
party every Friday night for years.

10.

I have a headache. / Ive had a headache since this morning. / Ive been having bad headaches since I had
my accident.

11.

I have a big problem. / Ive occasionally had problems understanding him, but not very often. / Ive been
having real problems understanding this chapter. I dont know what Im going to do. The test is tomorrow!
to

When weigh is transitive (=when it has a direct object), it can be continuous:


12.

He weighs 175 lbs. (intransitive, no direct object, not continuous)

13.

He works in the mailroom. He weighs the packages to determine how much postage
ostage
they need. (transitive, has a direct object: the packages) / So far, he has only weighed
about half of the things that need to be sent. Hell have to hurry up if he wants to leave
on time. / He has been weighing packages for an hour, and hes starting to get bored.
ng

Book4ClassSetAW07-2 5/25/2014 10:58 AM Roland Trego - 136 -

Read the whole conversation carefully. After that, go back and rewrite the sentence in
parentheses. Make sure you use the right tense and fill in the missing words.
a. a. Did you hear about Dick and Jane?
b. What?
a. Theyre getting divorced.
b. Well, that doesnt surprise me. That guys a creep*. *a strange, unpleasant, offensive person
(I never like him, not since first day I meet him)
*
,
asqueroso
Ive never liked him, not since the first day I met him.
1. a. Guess what?
b. What?
a. Greg is resigning. Hes found a better-paying job. *
, dimitir de, renunciar a
b. Thats not news. (I know that for several day)
___________________________________________________________________
a. Who told you?
b. Mary in the Accounting Department.
2. a. Your son and his wife have a marriage made in heaven*, dont they? *perfect
b. It sure seems like it. And let me tell you, (he love her since day they meet)
___________________________________________________________________
a. Well, thats easy to understand. Shes so sweet, not to mention beautiful! (=and beautiful, too)
3. a. Have you had any sudden changes in your weight recently?
b. No. (I weigh 165 lbs. for last ten year)
___________________________________________________________________
4. a. (How long you have your new car?)
___________________________________________________________________
b. For a couple weeks.
a. Its really sharp*. *stylish
b. Thanks. We love it.
5. a. (She be on cloud nine* since he ask her get married) *to be extremely happy
___________________________________________________________________
b. I can imagine. So, when is their wedding?
*
, estar en el sptimo cielo
a. In June.
Exercise 1.

Book4ClassSetAW07-2 5/25/2014 10:58 AM Roland Trego - 137 -