Non-Action Verbs 

Some verbs cannot be used in the progressive tenses. They are called non-action verbs.

Non-action verbs indicate state, sense, desire, possession, or opinion. The most common non-action verbs are:

    be*

    seem

    appear*

    (existence)

    look*

    sound*

    smell*

    taste*

    feel*

    (senses)

    like

    want

    prefer

    love*

    (desire)

    have*

    own

    possess

    (possession)

    think*

    believe

    consider*

    (opinion)


Note the usage in the following sentences:

    Mr. Tactful is seeming like a nice guy.

    (Wrong!)

    Mr. Tactful seems like a nice guy.

    (Correct)

    This salad is tasting delicious.

    (Wrong!)

    This salad tastes delicious.

    (Correct)

    I am liking banana cream pie.

    (Wrong!)

    I like banana cream pie.

    (Correct)

Some verbs have both action and non-action meanings. They are indicated by an asterisk* in the table above. The situation determines whether the action or non-action form of the verb is used.

    Those flowers look beautiful.

    (Non-action)

    Flora is looking out the window.

    (Action)

    I think that’s a great idea.

    (Non-action)

    I am thinking about my upcoming speech.

    (Action)

    We have a brand new car.

    (Non-action)

    We are having a party this weekend.

    (Action)

    Craig is a real estate agent.

    (Non-action)

    Billy is being naughty today.

    (Action)

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written by Song Seul Ki, November 24, 2009
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written by Jos, January 04, 2010
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Jos
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written by Tower defense games, February 26, 2010
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