By definition, verbs are doing words, which mean that verbs illustrate actions and happenings. However, there are non-action and action verbs. Action and non-action verbs can be confusing. An action verb explains what the subject of the sentence is doing or has done whereas. Practice your English with this free stative verbs exercise.

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Action and non-action verbs – English Grammar Guide

Verbs can be described as either action or non-action verbs. But do you know the difference between an action and a non action verb? An action verb is used to describe an action that is performed. Action verbs can be used in simple, perfect and progressive continuous tenses.

Most of the verbs we use are action verbs. Non-action verbs are used to describe states, senses, desires, possession, emotions and opinion. Non-action verbs are not usually used in continuous tenses.


We can only use ‘Action Verbs’ with continuous tenses for example, Present Continuous. We do not use ‘Non-Action Verbs’ with continuous tenses.

present simple and continuous, action and non-action verbs (1)

It cannot be continuous. You like or you don’t like something. You believe or you don’t believe somebody or something.

In this sense it is a non-action verb. However’to think’ can also mean ‘to consider’ and this is an action you perform.

In this sense, ‘to think’ is an action verb. I’m thinking about buying a new car. In this form, the verb ‘to possess’ can replace ‘to have’. They are having a nice house. Look at these examples: I think he is American I am thinking he is Nonactiob. What do you think about my plan? What are you thinking about my plan?

Laura has a BMW Laura is having a BMW.