There is a popular song by John Mayer called “Love is a Verb.” In the song, Mayer says that love is a verb, and something that must be shown. We agree, love IS a verb: specifically, a Non-Action Verb!
Today we are looking at love as a Non-Action Verb (and how LOVE can also be used in the Active sense when speaking informally).
Non-Action Verbs are also called “Stative” verbs. There are many in English, and they usually express emotions, states of being, desires, senses, opinion, or possession. These verbs are typically not used with the Present Progressive or other tenses that use -ING.
Here are some examples of these verbs.
- I feel like eating Thai food tonight. (Not “I
am feelinglike eating Thai food tonight.”)
- I really like the band New Direction. (Not “I
am really likingthe band New Direction.”)
- I love this song. (Not “I
am lovingthis song.”)
States of being
- I am a student. (Not “
I am beinga student.”)
- Does the truth exist? (Not “Is the truth
- The desire for wealth can be a motivator for many people. (Not “
The desiringfor wealth”)
- I need some coffee! (Not “
I am needingsome coffee.)
- I wish I could take a vacation. (Not “
I am wishingI could take a vacation.”)
- I want to go to the Bahamas. (Not “
I am wantingto go to the Bahamas.”)
Senses are interesting verbs. They can actually be used in the Active or Non-Active sense: see our article on Taste and Other Active/Non-Active Verbs for more information!
- I totally agree with you. (Not “
I am totally agreeingwith you.”)
- I disagree with what the man said. (Not “
I am disagreeingwith what the man said.”)
- I believe you. (Not “
I am believingyou.”)
- I think you’re right! (Not “
I am thinkingyou’re right!”)
- I have a car. (Not “
I am havinga car.”)
- He owns a house on the beach. (Not “
He is owninga house on the beach.”)
- You possess a great happiness. (Not “
You are possessinga great happiness.”)