Los Angeles   |   Boston   |   Santa Barbara
ELC Logo White
Los Angeles   |   Boston   |   Santa Barbara
ELC Logo White
  • My ELCMy ELC Page Icon
  • Agent's Page Icon iconAgents

ELC BLOG

 
ELC Boston English Grammar Lesson – Why English teachers hate McDonald’s! September 2nd, 2016

Lobster. We would love to be able to eat this Boston delicacy every day. However, sometimes our budget cannot allow for such luxuries. We might be tempted to save a few bucks, and get our meals from a famous fast-food restaurant. Well, while you may find many other students there, I doubt you’ll see any teachers!

Why is that? What makes your instructors turn away?

Simple answer: “ba-da-ba-ba-bah…” Don’t finish that jingle. If you do, you will be breaking some serious grammar laws.

Today we will learn about State and Action verbs!

Let’s take a quick quiz. See if you can find the incorrect verbs in this short paragraph.

Yesterday my friend and I 1)were watching the Red Sox game at the same time we 2)were doing our English homework. While the teams 3)were playing, my friend 4)asked me why I 5)hadn’t purchased tickets. I 6)told her the truth; the tickets 7)were costing too much. It was too bad, because I 8)am really loving the Red Sox.

If you chose verbs 7 and 8, well done! You found the two incorrect verbs.

Now, why are these incorrect verbs? Because! They are both State verbs.
State Verbs: express states or conditions which are relatively static. They include verbs of perception, cognition, the senses, emotion and state of being.

Remember that famous jingle? Love is a verb of emotion. Other examples include like, hate, enjoy. Therefore, we cannot say “I am really loving the Red Sox.” We can’t be “loving” anything, actually!

Here is a list of some other common State Verbs. See if you can put the verbs into the four categories!

Stative verbs list

Okay, so those are State Verbs. Sometimes, you might see them referred to as Stative Verbs. They are the same.

Let’s now learn about Action Verbs!

Action Verbs: (also called dynamic verbs) express activities, processes, momentary actions or physical conditions.

Below is the same paragraph from our quiz. See if you can find the Action Verbs now!

Yesterday my friend and I 1)were watching the Red Sox game at the same time we 2)were doing our English homework. While the teams 3)were playing, my friend 4)asked me why I 5)hadn’t purchased tickets. I 6)told her the truth; the tickets 7)were costing too much. It was too bad, because I 8)am really loving the Red Sox.

Great job! Here are the Action Verbs from the paragraph: Watch, Do, Play, Ask, Purchase, Tell.

This charts show more Action Verbs:

Action verbs list

Pssssttt! Come close! I have a secret to tell you about State and Action Verbs! Are you ready? Okay, here we go.

Some verbs are both State AND Action Verbs!!!! I know, crazy, right!? The important thing to remember is that these verbs often change their meaning when they switch from State to Action or vice versa.

Stative and action verbs

Congratulations! You now know the difference between State and Action Verbs, and most importantly, you understand why English teachers won’t ever sing this song!