John: Hello, it’s me again, John.
Welcome back to British English Grammar lessons.
Today Dora and I are going to visit our greatgreatgranny, who is celebrating her birthday. There’s nothing unusual about that, but our granny is extraordinary. Today she’s celebrating her 103rd birthday!!!
This is our grandad. His name’s George.
He’s only 80!
Dora: Hello, Granny. Happy Birthday!
Grandad: You need to speak louder than that. She only hears what you say if you speak loudly.
Dora: Hello, Granny. Happy Birthday!
Granny: Thank you.
Dora: You look wonderful. You don’t look 103. How do you stay so young?
Granny: I have a busy life. I get up early every day. I’ve got two dogs and I take them for a walk every morning.
I have three meals a day and I eat a lot of vegetables. I know it’s important to eat well.
Today I am having fish and vegetables for lunch and vegetable soup for dinner. I’m very sociable. I see my friends regularly and I love parties. I think that keeps me young. I get on well with my neighbours and socialize with people of all ages.
I believe it’s important to keep the mind active. So I take up courses in programming twice a week and I have my own Internet dating website called Ever young.
Dora: Do you go on holiday?
Granny: Oh, yes. My friends have invited me to their country house but I prefer doing something more active. I’m thinking of going to Disneyland. Will you join me?
John and Dora: Of course we will.
Granny: I like trying out new things. I’m looking for a new hobby. Mmm… I’m thinking of taking up salsa dancing.
In today’s lesson we will look at two types of verbs in the English language: dynamic verbs and state verbs.
Most English verbs have a dynamic meaning. They describe actions like visiting, getting up or walking … something happens.
You can use dynamic verbs with continuous or simple forms.
Today we are visiting our granny.
We get up early every day.
I take my dogs for a walk every morning.
I eat a lot of vegetables.
I take up courses in programming twice a week.
A few English verbs have state meanings.
· These verbs don’t usually have continuous forms.
· They do not describe thing that you do.
· These verbs can describe feelings and emotions, for example: like / dislike / love / hate / prefer / enjoy / appreciate (=value) / detest / forgive / adore / loathe, etc.
I prefer doing something more active.
I like trying out new things.
I love parties.
State verbs can also describe mental states: think / believe / know / understand / remember / realize / forget / expect (=think) / agree / see (=understand) / suppose, etc.
I know it’s important to eat well.
I believe it’s important to keep the mind active.
I think that keeps me young.
State verbs can express possession, for example: have / own / possess / belong.
I have my own Internet dating website.
I’ve got two dogs.
This house belongs to me.
That man owns a building company.
State verbs also include the verbs of the senses, for example: feel / see / hear / smell / taste / look / sound, etc.
She only hears what you say if you speak loudly.
You don’t look 103
Some other verbs have also state meanings, for example:
include, matter, mean, appear (=seem) need, want, weigh (=have the weight of), wish, keep (=continue), seem, etc.
He wants some more biscuits.
He is wanting some more biscuits.
The box is heavy. It weighs a
It is weighing a lot.
He appears to be working. Not
is appearing to be working.
There are a few common verbs that describe both dynamic and state meanings. In these case the meanings are very different.
Notice the difference in these examples from the story.
You look wonderful. (=You have a wonderful appearance)
I’m looking for a new hobby. (=I’m searching for)
I have two dogs. (=I possess)
Today I am having fish and vegetables for lunch. (=I’m eating)
I think that keeps us young. (=I believe)
I’m thinking of taking up salsa dancing. (=I’m considering)
· Certain adjectives can be used with be in the continuous form to express a temporary characteristic. These are carefull/foolish/kind/lazy/nice/(im)patient/(im)polite/rude/silly, etc.
John is usually very careful but today he’s being careless.
You’re being very foolish. (used as a warning)
· Here are some useful idioms with have:
have – breakfast/lunch/dinner
Now let’s practice the rule. Cross out the wrong sentence.
1. Is this perfume smelling nice?
Does this perfume smell nice?
Correct sentence is: b) Does this perfume smell nice? (here “smell” means have an odour)
2. She has two cats and a goldfish.
She’s having two cats and a goldfish.
Correct sentence is: a) She has two cats and a goldfish. (here “has” means to possess)
3. Peter is a kind man, but at the moment he is being selfish.
Peter is being a kind man, but at the moment he is selfish.
Correct sentence is a) Peter is a kind man, but at the moment he is being selfish. (is – is a permanent characteristic, while “is being” is temporary – at the moment)
4. This book looks very old.
This book is looking very old.
Correct sentence is: a) This book looks very old. (“look” means - to appear)
5. Why do you smell the cheese? Is it off?
Why are you smelling the cheese? Is it off?
Correct sentence is: b) Why are you smelling the cheese? Is it off? (here smell means sniff - action verb)
6. Harry can’t come to the phone. He’s having a shower.
Harry can’t come to the phone. He has a shower.
Correct sentence is: a) He’s having a shower. (here have a shower is equal to take a shower – action verb)
7. Why are you looking at me like that? Is there something om my face?
Why do you look at me like that? Is there something om my face?
Correct sentence is: a) Why are you looking at me like that? (here look means to direct your eyes in a particular direction – action verb)
8. I don’t know what to do. I’m thinking about it.
I don’t know what to do. I think about it.
Correct sentence is: a) I’m thinking about it. (here “think” means consider)
That’s all for today!
Hopefully, the lesson was useful and informative to you. See you next lesson.