In this video, we will read a story about Philip, a bank worker who wants to be the best banker in the world. We will follow his day and show different types of verbs (ACTION verbs and STATE verbs). Then we will find out what happened to Philip in the end.

A story that focuses on what aspect of grammar/vocabulary is a great way to practice English. You can find many more stories in our grammar collections on verb tenses:

Video Transcript

Click here to read this English short story.

ACTION verbs and STATE verbs

There is a big difference between action verbs and state verbs in English. Action verbs describe physical or mental activities that we do. State verbs describe states or situations.

For example, the verb “run” is an action verb. It describes the physical act of running. The verb “be” is a state verb. It describes a state of being (like “happy” or “sad”).

Here are some more examples of action verbs and state verbs:

Action Verbs: run, jump, swim, hit, catch, bite, eat, drink, wake up, go, sleep

State verbs: be (am/is/are), have, own, belong to, contain, cost, weigh, seem, look, remain, fit, think, feel, see, hear, smell, want, like, know, believe, understand, agree, doubt, remember, forget.

You can use action verbs in the progressive tense (for example “I am running”), but you can’t use state verbs in the progressive tense (there are exceptions though).

For example, you wouldn’t say “I am knowing the answer”.

Example sentences with common state verbs:

be => The lamp is on the table.

have => I have a new car.

own => She owns a house in the city.

belong to => That book belongs to me.

contain => This box contains a gift.

For more information, you can get our eBook on Dynamic Verbs (Action Verbs) and Stative Verbs.