STATIVE VERBS describe states (conditions that exist); they do not describe activities that are in progress. That’s why they’re not used in any of the progressive tenses.
Compare these examples:
The verb have is also commonly used as progressive verb, with a difference in meaning.
• He has a car. (stative verb)
• He is having a good time. (progressive)
The verb have used as stative verb shows possession while have used as progressive shows an activity of enjoying something.
The verb taste is also commonly used as progressive verb, with a difference in meaning:
• This soup tastes good. (stative verb)
• The chef is tasting the sauce. (progressive)
The verb taste used as stative verb shows sense of perception while taste used as progressive shows an activity of sensing food with your tongue.
In the picture, you’ll see some stative verbs are also commonly used as progressive verbs, with a difference in meaning. Remember, the non-progressive verbs (stative verbs) describe existing states while the progressive verbs describe activity in progress.
• think ⇒ describes mental state
• have ⇒ describes possession
• taste, smell, see ⇒ describe sense perception
• look, appear ⇒ describe other existing state
Now try this exercise. Choose the correct form of the verbs in the brackets:
Robert (get / get/ is getting) nervous whenever he walks into a room. His head feels light and his hands (become / becomes / is becoming) sweaty. He worries that everyone (look / looks / is looking) at him. Other people notice that Robert (appear / appears / is appeaing) uneasy because he (act / acts / is acting) so jumpy.