Stative vs. Dynamic verbs

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Stative vs. Dynamic verbs

Post by majemaje » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:52 am

Hi all. I have a question related to stative or dynamic verbs. I've learned that some verbs are generally stative whilst others are generally dynamic. There are also verbs used both ways with a change in meaning. But I am increasingly seeing 'stative' verbs used in -ing form. In my grammar book for instance it says cost is a stative verb yet at the same time it gives me the example: "This day out is costing me a fortune". Why is the use of -ing considered correct here? Would "this day out costs me a fortune", also be okay?

Thank you very much.

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Re: Stative vs. Dynamic verbs

Post by Alan » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:58 am

Of the verbs generally classified as 'stative' there are actually relatively few which are exclusively so (i.e. never used in progressive tense-forms). 'Consist' would be one, and 'mean' (= have a certain meaning) are among them. Others, however, can be treated dynamically depending on context.

A good learner's dictionary should provide guidance about such possibilities.