Copyright Notice:
First published at © 2001 Jonathan West.
The moral rights of the author to be identified as author of this work are asserted in accordance with §§.77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This work may be reproduced without the consent of the author, in part or in whole in any manner and in any medium subject only to the two following conditions:
(a) no charge shall be made for the copy containing the work or the excerpt,
(b) a copy of this notice shall precede the work or the excerpt.

Stative Verbs

Stative, or state verbs, or more accurately still, sentences which contain state verbs, express a situation which continues over a period, but it is irrelevant how long this period is.

Examples are:

sein, bestehen, sich befinden, gelten.

State verbs may be thought of as standing in opposition to event verbs, and activity verbs. As a rule, state verbs do not form an imperative or a passive and cannot be used with modal particles. These restrictions therefore form a set of tests for identifying state verbs.

The distinction stative vs. non-stative is also useful for distinguishing adjectives, e.g. alt, reich are stative and schnell, hilfreich are non-stative.

For interest