What are Non Action Verbs?

 In Learn English

Non-action verbs or non action verbs do NOT express an action, but represent a state of being, need, opinion, sense, or preference. Examples are the “be” verbs: am, are, was, were, is, has been, and had. Commonly used non action verbs are love, forget, need, think, appear, seem, possess, decide, imagine, sound, hope, try.

I love flowers.
She needs milk.
She appears confused.
It seems cooked.
They own the lot.
I hope we reach home soon.
I will decide the outcome.

You cannot DO flowers, (or milk, confused, cooked, etc.)  You cannot DO any of these thing, therefore all these sentences are using non-action verbs.

Some non-action verbs, used in a different context, can be used as action verbs. Think can mean the active function of thinking of considering, or it can mean to believe, having an opinion about.

What do you think of the view?  Non action
I am thinking of taking a holiday.  Action
I will decide tomorrow.  Non action
I will decide the outcome.  Action

Here are some non action verbs groups from this great blog for English as Second Language learners:

Emotions:  admire, care, dislike, doubt, envy, fear, hate, hope, like, love
Mental States:  think, understand, know, believe, guess, hope, mean
Wants/Preferences:  want, wish, need, prefer, desire
Possession:  own, have, contain, belong
Appearance:  look, appear, seem
Value:  cost, equal, signify
Perception:  feel, hear, see, smell, taste, sound, look, notice
State of being:  be, exist

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search