English Lesson: “Stative Verbs”

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I feel tired today. Maybe it’s because of the heat. It feels like the temperature is almost 38°C (90°F). When it gets this hot I like to drink iced tea. It tastes so refreshing. When I see a glass I feel the coolness coming to greet me. Iced tea even smells like summer.  

There are basically two types of verbs in English. Action verbs do just that, they show us movement or action. There are also those verbs that show us a state or condition. Today we will look at some of these stative verbs.  Do you know how to use them? Take a look at the paragraph above and then check out today’s lesson:

Feel, hear, see, smell, taste, touch are all verbs that have to do with our senses. Generally, these verbs are not used in a progressive form, and we do not use our effort when we feel, hear, see, smell, & taste.When they are used in a progressive form, the meaning is slightly different.

Feel refers to how our senses react to our environment or body condition. We don’t use our effort to feel.

  • I feel really warm today.
  • This cool air conditioning feels good
  • Mary said she feels like she is catching a cold.

Feeling is similar to touching and refers to using your effort to make physical contact with something

  • I am feeling the edge of the glass to see if there are any cracks or chips

Hear refers to sound coming into our ears. We don’t use our effort to hear. Hear is not used in the progressive form:

  • I hear a strange noise coming from the basement. Not, I am hearing….
  • Do you hear that? I think the neighbors are fighting again. Not, Are you hearing that…

See refers to light coming into our eyes. We don’t use our effort to see. See is also not used in the progressive form:

  • I see a frog under that tree. Not, I am seeing…
  • Do you see the frog, too? Not, Are you seeing…

Smell refers to aroma or odor coming into our nose. We don’t use our effort to smell.

  • Fresh bread always smells nice. Not, Fresh bread always is smelling nice.
  • I smell pizza. Who brought the pizza? Not, I am smelling pizza.
  • I can’t smell anything when I catch a cold.

Smelling refers to using your effort (and your nose) to check the aroma or odor of something.

  • A: What are you doing?
  • B: I am smelling this rose. It smells so nice.

Taste refers to the the reaction of our tongue to what we put in our mouth.

  • This aligator tastes like chicken. Not, This aligator is tasting like chicken.
  • Grilled fish tastes better than pan-fried fish.

Tasting refers to using your effort and your tongue to sample the flavor of something:

  • A: What are you doing?
  • B: I am tasting the soup. I think it needs more salt.

Well, I feel as if I have covered all of the sense verbs. If I have missed something, I’m sure I will see your comments, which by the way, are always welcome!