We humans are so complex and weird. We never stop moving, thinking, and doing. Thank heavens the English language has such a wide array of verbs to choose from, and help us express ourselves! Today we are going to brush the surface of this major section of English grammar.
It is important to notice that verbs are placed in three separate main categories:
- Dynamic Verbs
- Stative Verbs
- Mixed Verbs
Regular, everyday verbs we all use, which usually denote a physical action. They can be used in past, present, and future. Most verbs are dynamic verbs:
- I rode my bicycle yesterday
- I am riding my bicycle today
- I will ride my bicycle tomorrow
Verbs which do not specify a physical action that someone does.
They can be further sub-categorized as:
- Abstract Verbs: to mind, to need
- Possessive Verbs: to own, to possess
- Emotion Verbs: to love, to hate
- I want some water, NOT “I am wanting”
- He owns a car, NOT “he is owning”
- I hate getting my clothes wet, NOT “I am hating”
This last group is the smallest of the three verb groups. They are titled “mixed verbs” due to their ambiguous nature. They have more than one meaning, which can be confusing. Some of their meanings resemble dynamic verbs, and others resemble stative verbs.
- Stative – John looks happy
- Dynamic – John looked away
- Stative – Dan thinks chocolate is good
- Dynamic – Dan is thinking of chocolate
- Stative – I have a car
- Dynamic – I'm having a bad hair day
Verbs can be a very complicated issues to tackle. Remember that the key to understanding the proper use of verbs is listening closely and reading as much as you can. In time, you will be able to learn what ‘sounds' right.