Comment on the differences between STATIVE and DYNAMIC verbs(e.g see/look at, hear/listen to).Explain how this distinction is relevent to the simple/continuous aspects of verb forms.

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ananicola | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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There are verbs that are not normally used in the Continuous Aspect because of their lexical meaning. These include:

-         verbs denoting instant actions: Jackson kicks the ball and scores the final goal.

-         verbs denoting universal truths and permanent characteristics: Fish swim.

-         verbs of inert perception: The flower smells nice.

-         verbs of mental activity: I remember what he said.

-         verbs of feeling: I don’t like lazy people.

-         verbs denoting relation: This book belongs to his brother.

These verbs are commonly used in the Simple Aspect. Using them in the Continuous Aspect implies a voluntary action:

a)      we can replace them with synonyms:

ex: I hear something.  versus I am listening to music.

b)      we can use verbs denoting permanent states as verbs denoting activities:

ex: The cake tastes good  versus  I am tasting the cake.

I think you are right versus He is thinking of his future.

c)      we can use them with other meanings:

ex: I am seeing my doctor tomorrow (meet)

He is having a party. (throw a party)

d)      we can use them to express an exception, a temporary situation:

ex: He is kind versus He is being kind today.

e) we can use them in the Continuous Aspect to denote a gradual intensification of the action: Peter is resembling his father more and more.

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