Dynamic Verb

Definition: A dynamic verb is one that can be used in the progressive (continuous) aspect, indicating an unfinished action. Dynamic verbs have duration, that is, they occur over time. This time may or may not have a defined endpoint, and may or may not yet have occurred.

  • Jhon plays soccer every Saturday.
    => Jhon is playing soccer right now.

  • The snow melts every spring.
    => The snow is melting right now.

  • When one boxer hits another, brain damage can result.
    => When one boxer is hitting another, brain damage can result.

Dynamic verbs, can be used in the simple and perfect forms, for example: plays, played, has played, had played, as well as the continuous or progressive forms, for example: is playing, was playing, has been playing, had been playing.

The progressive forms occur only with dynamic verbs, that is, with verbs that show qualities capable of change as opposed to stative verbs, which show qualities not capable of change.

For example:

  • He is being tall. (incorrect)
    => He is tall. (correct)
  • He is resembling his mother. (incorrect)
    => He resembles his mother. (correct)
  • I am wanting spaghetti for dinner. (incorrect)
    => I want spaghetti. (correct)
  • It is belonging to me. (incorrect)
    => It belongs to me. (correct)

Sometimes verbs can be used in progressive forms when they have certain meanings. In another meaning it is not possible to use them in progressive forms.
For example:

Verb Simple Forms Progressive Forms
feel (to have an opinion) I feel I should go on holiday. ---
feel (to feel sth.) How do you feel when you are on holiday? How are you feeling today?
have (to possess) I have a new computer. ---
have (to eat) I always have a cola for lunch. I am having dinner right now.
see (to understand) Oh, I see. ---
see (to meet someone) I often see Mandy at the disco. I am seeing Peter tonight.
think (to believe) I think you should see a doctor. ---
think (to think about) I have to think about it. I am thinking about my girlfriend now.


  • She's lying on the bed.

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