Explode! Scream! Sneeze! Type! Kick! What are these words doing? ◦ They are expressing action, something that a person, animal, force of nature, or thing can do. As a result, these words are called action verbs. ◦ Example: ◦ In the library and at church, Michele giggles inappropriately. ◦ Giggling is something that Michele can do. *They can be used in the progressive tenses!!!
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: be* seem Appear* (existence) Look* Taste* Sound* Feel* Smell* (senses)
Like PreferWant Love* (desire)Have* OwnPossess (possession)Think* BelieveConsider* (opinion)*Verbs with an * have both action and non action meanings.
Note the usage in the following sentences: ◦ Mr. Smith is seeming like a nice guy (Wrong!) ◦ Mr. Smith 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)
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 of 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) (From eslgold.com)