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Action Stative and Linking Verbs

13th November 2020 CHALLA Comments Off

Action, Stative and Linking Verbs


Action, Stative and Linking VerbsThe verb in English has been found in three different categories.  They are  Action or Doing Verbs, Stative Verbs (state or static) and Linking Verbs (Copula / Copular).


Action or Doing Verbs

Action verbs express direct physical or mental action of the subject. The action verbs are also called Doing or Dynamic Verbs. These verbs can take progressive verb forms. They are opposite to Stative Verbs. 


  • The children are drawing cartoon pictures. (shows a physical action)
  • She imagines a lot of things. (shows a mental action)
  • They are writing their annual examinations. (a physical action)


Stative Verbs (state or static) 

The verbs that describe a static condition, possession, or state of being are called Stative (state or static) Verbs. These verbs usually relate to thoughts, relationships, emotions, senses or states of being. They are opposite to the Action Verbs (Dynamic Verbs) as Action Verbs describe the mental or physical activity.


List of some common Stative Verbs:

Verbs of Senses hear, see, smell, taste, touch,
Verbs of Perception notice, recognize..,
Verbs of Feelings and Emotions feel, want, wish, desire, feel, like, dislike, love, hate, hope, refuse, prefer, care, respect, please, promise, satisfy, deny, admire…,
Verbs of Thinking think, know, suppose, believe, find, disbelieve, doubt, agree, disagree, consider, trust, remember, forget, know, understand, misunderstand, imagine, mean, mind, remember, recollect, realize, recognize, deserve, involve, depend…,
Verbs of Possession have, has, had, possess, owe, own, weigh, belong to, contain, need, consist of, comprise…,
Verbs of Appearing  appear, seem, resemble.,


  • I have known him for a long time.
  • She dislikes everything that I do.
  • I don’t believe in God.
  • I have some doubts about this.
  • She remembers everything she learns.
  • The players appeared brave when they won the 1st match. 


Since these verbs describe static conditions, they are non-progressive verb forms.  They can be used in simple and perfect tenses, but not in continuous and perfect continuous tenses. 

Observe the following sentences:

I am seeing a T.V. programme. I see a T.V. programme.
He is not understanding it. He does not understand it.
I am knowing it all along I know it all along
She is tasting the curry. She tastes the curry.
This house is belonging to my uncle. This house belongs to my uncle. 
Mother is loving her children very much. Mother loves her children very much.
She was hating me like poison. She hated me like poison. 
He is not believing in God. He does not believe in God.
I have not been seeing you for 2 years I have not seen you for 2 years.
Bhaskar is wanting to become a mechanic Bhaskar wants to become a mechanic
He is thinking that he is a hero He thinks that he is a hero
My friend was having two cars. My friend had two cars.

Stative Verbs Vs. Action Verbs:

Stative Verbs  Action Verbs
Stative (state or static) Verbs describe a state or situation of a verb.  Action Verbs (Dynamic Verbs) describe mental or physical activity. 
Stative Verbs can never be used in the continuous tense. Action Verbs can be used in the continuous tense. 
Stative Verbs don’t begin and don’t end. Action Verbs stop and start. 



  • I like playing several games. (Stative Verb)
  • I don’t know who you are. (Stative Verb)


  • I am playing several games. (Action Verb)
  • I have been waiting for you for a long time. (Action Verb)


There are some verbs that can be both stative and action verbs. When a stative verb is used in the continuous tense, it describes an action.




  • My friend is sarcastic. (Stative Verb that shows his usual attitude.) 
  • My friend is being sarcastic. (Action Verb is in the continuous tense and shows that my friend is sarcastic only now, not usually.) 


  • This dish tastes delicious. (Stative Verb)
  • The chef is tasting the dish. (Action Verb)


  • He thinks that I am always wrong. (Stative Verb)
  • She is thinking of quitting the present job. (Action Verb)(Action)


  • The weather looks pleasant. (Stative Verb)
  • The kid is looking at the cartoon pictures. (Action Verb)


  • I see dark clouds in the blue sky. (Stative Verb)
  • I am seeing my friend tomorrow. (Action Verb)


  • My friend has an online business. (Stative Verb)
  • We are having a sumptuous dinner at my friend’s house. (Action Verb)


Linking Verbs: (Copula / Copular)

  • A linking verb is a verb that is used to re-identify or describes its subject. 
  • These linking verbs connect the subject to a subject complement (predicate noun or predicate adjective). 
  • The Linking Verbs are also called Copula / Copular or Static / Stative Verbs.
  • The copula is a Latin word for ‘link’. The copula links a subject to a subject complement.
  • Linking verbs do not describe any physical or mental action of the subject. They simply join the subject and the predicate. 
  • The most common linking verbs are: 


To be: am, is, are, was, were, 

Been: has been, have been, had been, will have been, shall have been,

Being: am being, is being, are being, was being, were being,

Modal auxiliaries with ‘be’: will be, shall be, may be, can be, should be, would be, could be, might be, must be,

Sensory Verbs: feel, taste, smell, sound, look,

Verbs of change or process: appear, become, grow, remain, seem, stay, look, grow etc.  


The verbs to be, to become, and to seem are always linking verbs:

Linking verbs are always intransitive verbs, but not all intransitive verbs are linking verbs. 



  1. She is a professor. (The subject is re-identified as a professor)
  2. The ball was red. (The subject is described as red)
  3. All the students are present today.
  4. These actors will be good by tomorrow.
  5. They have been absent for several days.
  6. It smells pungent.
  7. Gita seems intelligent.
  8. I feel happy now.
  9. They have become so sincere.
  10. The students remain silent.
  11. The employee grew impatient.


With the linking verbs, we use adjectives but not adverbs.


  • He appears intelligent.
  • He appears intelligently. (wrong)


  • I feel bad about it.
  • I feel badly about it. (wrong)


Linking Verb Vs. Intransitive Verb

Here, both the verbs do not take an object.

Intransitive verbs make complete sense by itself without any object or complement.

Whereas the Linking Verbs need a subject complement to make its meaning clear.


Intransitive Verb Examples:


  • The boy runs.
  • The baby is sleeping. 
  • She laughs.


Linking Verb Examples:


  • Gita is my sister. 
  • They are my new notebooks. 
  • Sneha looked cautious. 
  • My friend remains angry for a long time.
  • They seem restless today. 


 Linking Verb Vs. Helping Verb:

Helping/auxiliary verbs are used before the main verbs, whereas linking verbs function by themselves as main verbs.

  • My friend is a football player. (Linking Verb)
  • They are all doctors. (Linking Verb)
  • My friend is playing a football game. (Helping Verb)
  • They are all working as doctors here. (Helping Verb)


Action, Stative and Linking Verbs:

Linking Verb Vs. Action Verb:

The Linking Verbs express a state or condition that exists and connect the subject to the subject complement in a sentence. 

The Action or Dynamic Verbs express direct physical or mental action of the subject.  

The Linking Verbs do not take continuous tense form, whereas Action Verbs take the continuous tense form.


  • The rose smells sweet. (Linking Verb)
  • She smells the rose. (Action Verb)


  • The boy looked untidy. (Linking Verb)
  • The boy is looking at the picture. (Action Verb)


  • He got angry at my behaviour. (Linking Verb) 
  • He got all his certificates. (Action Verb)


Linking Verb Vs. Static / Stative Verbs

The linking verbs connect the subject to the complement, whereas stative verbs describe the static condition. The stative verbs are not usually used in the continuous tenses.


Linking Verbs are followed by noun/noun phrases or adjective/adjective phrases, whereas the stative verbs sometimes are followed by objects.


Most Linking Verbs are Stative Verbs.


  • She felt tired. (linking verb as well as a stative verb, adjective complement is used)
  • The dish tastes delicious. (linking verb as well as a stative verb, adjective complement is used).


  • Do you know the Prime Minister? (stative verb, not a linking verb, the object is used).
  • The teacher hates lazy students. (stative verb, not a linking verb, the object is used).


  • Ricky is feeling happy after his annual exams. (a linking verb, not a stative verb, the continuous tense form is used). 
  • The students are getting bored. (a linking verb, not a stative verb, the continuous tense form is used).


3 Tips to identify the linking verbs:

Check whether the sentence makes sense when we replace the verb in a sentence with is or are. 

  • She seems happy. (Linking Verb)
  • She is happy. (Linking Verb)


Check whether the verb expresses state or condition or describes an action.


  • There are no animals in this park. (Linking Verb)
  • The children are playing in the park. (Action Verb)


Check whether the verb links subject complement or takes an abject.


  • His dress smells bad. (Linking Verb)
  • He is reading a novel. (Action Verb)



Find the linking verb in each sentence:


There were 25 computers in the lab.

He is an accountant in this school.

It is there on the table.

There will be no buses tomorrow.

The employees have still been on strike.

The issue became more complicated after your trial

She seemed more confused by your question.

Her handwriting looks very neat.

This old woman feels happy now.

She grew stronger and stronger.

The dog has been with her for a long time.

Ice-cream tastes good.

She looks tired after a long journey.

My boss remains always calm under any circumstances.

The children felt sleepy after watching TV.

There are a few students in the classroom.

He is always late for work.


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