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State Verbs

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State verbs are verbs which do not normally have continuous tenses because they describe a state rather than an action. These include:

Ø verbs which express likes and dislikes: like, love, hate, dislike, enjoy, prefer, etc.

e.g. Cathy likesromantic films.

Ø verbs of perception: believe, know, notice, remember, forget, recognise, understand, realise, seem, think, etc.e.g./ don’t believe a word he's saying.

Ø verbs of the senses: see, hear, feel, taste, look, smell, sound. We often use can or could with these verbs when we refer to what we see, hear, etc. at the moment of speaking.

e.g. The soup tastesdelicious.

John must be in the attic. I can hearhis footsteps.

Ø some other verbs: be, contain, fit, include, matter, need, belong, cost, owe, mean, own, appear, want, have(=possess), etc.

e.g. This book ismine. It belongsto me.

GSome state verbs have continuous tenses, but there is a difference in meaning. Study the following examples:

1) Ithinkshe's Italian. (=believe) – I'm thinking aboutmy holiday. (=am considering)

2) The soup tastesawful. (=has an awful flavour) – She's tastingthe soup. (=is testing the flavour of)

3) / can seean aeroplane in the sky. (=perceive with my eyes) – I'm seeingJill tonight, (-am meeting)

4) Susan lookstired. (=appears) – Susan is lookingat some photos. (=is studying)

5) The room smellsof perfume. (=has the smell) – The cat is smellingits food. (=is sniffing)

6) This towel feelssoft. (=has a soft texture) – Jill is feelingher son's forehead. (=is touching)

7) He isselfish, (character — permanent state) – He is beingselfish, (behaviour — temporary situation)

8) He has a sports car. (=possesses) – He's having lunchnow. (=is eating — idiom)

GSome idioms with have include:

have breakfast / lunch / dinner, etc
a bath / shower / swim / party, etc
a(n) accident / experience / dream, etc.
a baby
difficulty / fun / trouble, etc.


The Present Continuous Tense – “to be going to + infinitive”


Look at Picture. Read the situation. Pay your attention to the difference between the Present Continuous and the construction “to be doing to + infinitive”.

It's Sunday morning. Little Benny is in bed. He's still sleeping. The Sandfords are leaving for the seaside this morning. So it's time for Benny to get up. You see Benny's grandmother at his bed. She is goingto wake Ben­ny up. Betty is also in the nursery. She is going togive Benny his usual morning milk.

G The construction “to be going to + infinitive”is used to replace the Future Indefinite tense form to denote somebody's intention or plan. Besides a planned future actions can be expressed by the Present Continuous tense with a time expression as well. The Present Continuous is mainly used for very definite arrangements in the near future. The construction “be going to + infinitive” can be used more widely.

S + am is are (not) going to V0

I am going to be a teacher.

It is going to rain.

My friends are going to build a house.

Tom isn't going to take part in the performance.


Exercise 31.Put the verbs in brackets into the simple present or the present continuous tense.

1. Cuckoos (not build) nests. They (use) the nests of other birds.

2. You can't see Tom now: he (have) a bath.

3. He usually (drink) coffee but today he (drink) tea.

4. What she (do) in the evenings? – She usually (play) cards or (watch) TV.

5. I won't go out now as it (rain) and I (not have) an umbrella.

6. The last train (leave) the station at 11.30.

7. He usually (speak) so quickly that I (not understand) him.

8. Ann (make) a dress for herself at the moment. She (make) all her own clothes.

9. I'm afraid I've broken one of your coffee cups. – Don't worry. I (not like) that set anyway.

10. I (wear) my sunglasses today because the sun is very strong.

11. Tom can't have the newspaper now because his aunt (read) it.

12. I'm busy at the moment. I (redecorate) the sitting room.

13. The kettle (boil) now. Shall I make the tea?

14. How you (get) to work as a rule? – I usually (go) by bus but tomorrow I (go) in Tom's car.

15. I always (buy) lottery tickets but I never (win) anything.

16. These workmen are never satisfied; they always (complain).

17. We (use) this room today because the window in the other room is broken.

18. He always (say) that he will mend the window but he never (do) it.

19. You (know) why an apple (fall) down and not up?

20. You (write) to him tonight? – Yes, I always (write) to him on his birthday. You (want) to send any message?


Exercise 32.Use the Present Indefinite or the Present Continuous to translate the following sentences into English:

1. Де Тед? — У саду. — Що він там робить?

2. В усіх кімнатах готелю є ванна кімната.

3. Він чув, як вона казала по телефону: «Ні, у мене все гаразд. Я снідаю».

4. Чи значить це, що я старію?

5. «А що люди кажуть про мене тут?» — Запитала вона.

6. Як ви гадаєте, чого вони чекають?

7. Ці люди розмовляють мовою, якої ніхто не знає.

10. Їхня фірма працює на новим автомобілем.

11. До речі, що тут відбувається?

12. Коли вам зустрічається незнайоме слово, дивіться його у словнику.

13. «Я не сплю в будинку», — сказав він.

14. Давай-но, я наллю тобі води. В тебе все ще тремтять руки.

15. «Дивно, — сказав я, — як легко він товаришує з людьми».

16. «А що робить мати Сенді в Японії?» — «Вона читає лекції в інституті».

17. Ти пам’ятаєш Джеймса? Він тепер працює на нового боса.

18. Я дуже зайнятий через школу, яку ми зараз будуємо.

19. Я не знаю, чому я плачу.

20. Що трапилось цього разу? Чому так зі мною розмовляєш?.


Exercise 33.Put the verbs in brackets into the Present Simple or the Present Continuous. Explain your choice.

1. A: ...Do you know... (you/know) that man over there?

B: Actually, I do. He's Muriel's husband.

2 A: Are you doing anything tomorrow evening?

B: Yes. I _____ (see) Jack at nine o'clock.

3 A: I ___ (see) you're feeling better.

B: Yes, I am, thank you.

4 A: What's that noise?

B: The people next door ___ (have) a party.


5 A: Graham ___ (have) a new computer.

B: I know. I've already seen it.

6 A: This dress ___ (not/fit) me any more.

B: Why don't you buy a new one?

7 A: Your perfume ___ (smell) nice. What is it?

B: It's a new perfume called Sunshine.

8 A: What is Jane doing?

B: She ___ (smell) the flowers in the garden.

9 A: What ___ (you/look) at?

B: Some photos I took during my holidays. They aren't very good, though.

10 A: You ___ look) very pretty today.

B: Thank you. I've just had my hair cut.

11 A: I ___ (think) we're being followed.

B: Don't be silly! It's just your imagination.

12 A: Is anything wrong?

B: No. I ___ (just/think) about the party tonight.

13 A: This fabric ___ (feel) like silk.

B: It is silk, and it was very expensive.

14 A: What are you doing?

B: I ___ (feel) the radiator to see if it's getting warm.

15 A: She ___ (be) generous, isn't she?

B: Yes, she has never been a mean person.

16 A: He ___ (be) very quiet today, isn't he?

B: Yes, I think he has some problems.

17 A: Would you like some cherries?

B: Yes, please. I ___ (love) cherries. They're my favourite fruit.

18 A: I'm sorry, but I ___ (not understand) what you mean.

B: Shall I explain it again?

19 A: The children are making lots of noise today.

... B: I know, but they ___ (have) fun.

20 A: This cake ___ (taste) awful.

B: I think I forgot to put the sugar in it!

Exercise 34. Say that you (he, somebody else) aren't (isn’t) going to do the same.

e.g. – Roger is going to give up smoking.

– How clever of him! I'm going to give up smoking, too.


– Eliza isn't going to tease the cat.

– How good of her! I'm not going to tease the cat either.

1. Father is going to play more games with children.

2. Adam is going to clean his shoes every week.

3. Steve is going to make his bed in the morning.

4. Grandma is going to watch TV at 5 o’clock.

5. Roger is going to learn to swim this summer.

6. Helen is going to do her morning exercises regu­larly.

7. Helen and Linda aren't going to miss any classes at school.

8. Steve is going to take the dog for a walk more often.

9. Susan is going to read some English books in the original in summer.

10. Kate is going to learn some recipes of English dishes.


Exercise 35. Ask your friend when (where, how, why) he (she, some­body else) is (isn't) going to do it.

e.g. – They are going to paint their kitchen. (what colour)

– What colour are they going to paint it?

– Yellow.

1. Ted is going to ring me up in the morning. (at what time)

2. Jenny is going to invite her friends to her dinner party. (when)

3. My friends are going to have a picnic. (where)

4. We are going to be late. (why)

5. Louise is going to learn Chinese. (why)

6. Ben is going to wait for his friend. (how long)

7. Charles is going to sing a song in the concert. (what song)

8. Nick is going to help Helen in her troubles. (how)

9. They are going to leave early. (why)

10. Kate is going to wear a new dress at the party. (what party)

Exercise 36. Put the verbs in brackets into one of the above forms, using the Present Continuous wherever possible.

1. Where you (go) for your holidays? - I (go) to Norway. - What you (do) there? - I (fish).

2. Where you (go) this evening? - I (not go) anywhere. I (stay) at home. I (write) some letters.

3. Take an umbrella; it (rain).

4. How long you (stay) in this country? (Have you decided to stay?) - Another month. I (go) home at the end of month.-What you (do) then? -I (try) to get a job.

5. I (dye) these curtains.- You (do) it yourself, or (have) it done? -I (have) it done. Who should I take them to?

6. I've seen the film, now I (read) the book. I've just got a copy from the library. (I haven't started the book yet.)

7. You (do) anything next week? - Yes, my nephews (come) and I (show) them round London.-You (take) them to the theater? (Have you booked seats?) -No, they're too young for that. I (take) them to the zoo.

8. We start early tomorrow. We (go) to Ben Nevis. - You (climb) Ben Nevis? - Not me. Tom (climb) it. I (sit) at the bottom and (do) some sketching.

9. Uncle: I hear you (go) to the regatta tomorrow. You (sail) in it? – Niece: No, but we (take) our cameras. We (try) to photograph the winning yachts.

10. You (not ask) your boss to give you a fire in your office? - It isn't worth while. I (leave) at the end of the week.- Really? And what you (do) then? You (have) a holiday? - No, I (start) another job the following Monday.

11. I hear you've a caravan. You (use) it for your holidays? — No, I (live) in it. I (start) moving my things next week.- What you (do) with your house? - I (sell) it to the man who sold me the caravan. He (get) mar-ried next month.

12. Mrs. Jones (go) to hospital. She (have) her appendix out.— Who (look) after the children? - Her sister (come) down from Scotland.

13. He isn't happy at his boarding school. I (send) him to a day school.- Have you decided on the other school? - No, but I (see) (have an appointment with) the headmaster of the Park School this afternoon. Г11 probably send him there.

14. Tom (arrive) tomorrow.- He (spend) the weekend here or (catch) the night train back as usual? - He (spend) the weekend. He (give) a lecture on Friday and (attend) a big reception on Saturday.

15. He (bring) his wife with him? (Has he arranged to bring his wife?) - Yes. She (do) some shopping while he (give) his lecture.

16. I've just arranged to do a part-time job. I (start) on Monday.-– What you (do) the rest of the time? - I (study).

17. You (go) abroad for your holiday? - Well, I (get) a holiday job. I (go) to an agent's on Saturday to find out about it. I (ask) for a job abroad; but of course they may all be taken.- You might get a job picking grapes. Jack (joint) a camp in the South of France - his university arranged it - and they all (pick) grapes.

18. I (buy) a new coat. The weather report says that it (be) very cold.

19. Ann has won a car in a competition but she can't drive. Tom: What you (do) with the car? You (sell) it? – Ann: No, I (learn) to drive. I (have) my first lesson next Monday.

20. I hear you've bought a new house. Yes. I (move) in next week. -You (have) a house warming party? - Not just yet. I (paint) the house first. The paint work's ter­rible, and a lawn expert (come) on Monday to advise me about the lawn.

Exercise 37.Make up situations to justify the use of the Present Indefinite and the Present Continuous in the following pairs of sentences:

1. You'd better take your coat. It's raining out there.

You'd better take your coat. It rains out there.

2.They dance every style.

They are dancing every style.

3. "I know I'm boring you, but don't go," he said.

"I know I bore you, but don't go," he said.

4.I think they are both silly.

I think they are both being silly.

5. "His hands shake," said my aunt.

"His hands are shaking," said my aunt.

6. Who is sleeping in this room?

Who sleeps in this room?

7. He plays tennis.

He is playing tennis.

8. You're putting the umbrella in the wrong place.

You put the umbrella in the wrong place.

9.I don't eat fish.

I'm not eating fish.

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