Stative Verbs: Comprehension

Grammar Summary:

Reading Comprehension: Why are British people drinking less lager? Comprehension questions plus grammar (stative verbs) and vocabulary.
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In this article we’re looking closely at Present Simple tense, and in particular: “Stative Verbs”, which are very common in English.


A. Grammar Questions: 

British drinking less beer

1. Look at Paragraphs 1-10. Find examples of verbs in Present Simple form used as follows:

a. To give an immediate, more exciting account of action (1 verb, 2 examples)

b. In ‘stative’ form (5 examples)

c. Indicating habit or routine (3 exs.)

B. Comprehension Questions:

2. True or False: According to Jonny Forsyth, the main reason people are drinking less beer is because they have less money to spend.

3. True or False: According to Melissa Cole, because beer marketing has not kept up with more people now drinking at home, sales will soon be overtaken by other beverages.

4. True or False: According to Roger Protz, British-brewed beer will be the key to continued success.

C. Vocabulary Questions:

5. Find 4 words meaning ‘to increase’.

6. Find the 10 words with the following meanings:
    a. ‘Gassy’
    b. ‘Impossible to penetrate’
    c. ‘Unpromising’
    d. ‘Competing closely with’
    e. ‘Alcoholic drink’ (slang)
    f. [Related to skilled work carried out by hand]
    g. ‘Of mild temperatures’
    h. ‘Attractive’
    i. ‘Had sudden success’ (slang)
    j. ‘Of higher quality and price’
    k. ‘Have inadvertently caused themselves harm’



1. Present Simple examples as follows:

a. Giving an immediate, more exciting account of action:
    To be: “It is Saturday night” (para. 1); “ around you are...” (pr. 1)

b. In ‘stative’ form (5 examples)
    i) To define: “the beverage that best defines...” (para. 3)
    ii) To appear: / appear to be:- “appear to be on the wane”;
        - “a decline that appears...” (paras. 4, 5)
    iii) To remain:  “while it remains...” (para. 6)
    iv) To be: (“It’s an inauspicious start”, para. 7)
    v) To know: (“is still known...”, para.8 - [passive voice])

NB. See the bottom of this page for an explanation and list of common stative (and ‘dynamic’) verbs

c. Indicating habit or routine (3 examples)
    i) To behave: “males who behave...” (Para. 8)
    ii) To be: “are commonly” (Para. 8)
    iii) To appear: “a decline that appears...” (paras. 4, 5)

Also note: We often find present simple when reporting the speech of anotherE.g. to say (“... the campaign for real ale says...”, etc. para. 12); to add (“...he adds”: para. 13)

2. False. He says people are buying less beer mainly because it is now more expensive.

3. True. She says that lager’s traditionally macho male image will be to its disadvantage in future.

4. False. He says that the British expect their food to come from abroad.

5. Answers as follows:

   i) grow (verb, para. 6)
   ii) boom (noun, slang, meaning ‘explosion’, para. 6. Can also be a verb)
   iii) soar (verb, normally meaning ‘climb quickly into the air’, para. 6)
   iv) rise (verb, meaning ‘move upwards’, para. 9)

6. Answers as follows:
   a) ‘fizzy’ (paragraph 1)
   b) ‘impregnable’ (paragraph 7)
   c) ‘inauspicious’ (paragraph 7)
   d) ‘rivalling’ (paragraph 7)
   e) ‘tipple’ (paragraph 7)
   f) ‘artisan’ (paragraph 7)
   g) ‘temperate’ (paragraph 7)
   h) ‘appealing’ (paragraph 7)
   i) ‘took off’ (paragraph 7)
   j) ‘upmarket’ (paragraph 7)
   k) ‘have shot themselves in the foot’ (paragraph 7)

Explanation: “Dynamic and Stative Verbs”

1) Dynamic Verbs describe an action or process.

E.g. “I cook dinner every day at 8” / “I’m cooking dinner right now”.
They can be in simple or continuous form.
More examples of dynamic verbs: to eat, to run, to ask, to play.

2) Meanwhile, “Stative Verbs” tend to describe a ‘state’.
E.g. “I am happy”
Importantly, stative verbs are not usually continuous. We can’t say “I am being happy”.

Here is a list of 20 verbs usually used in their stative form only:

agree, be, believe, disagree, hate,
hear, know, like, look, love, mean,
need, prefer, promise, realise, remember,
see, seem, smell, understand, want

It’s a good idea to memorise these. If you need a bigger list, feel free to tweet us.

3) Finally, some verbs can be used in either a dynamic OR stative sense. Use depends on context.
E.g. “She’s having a baby” (Dynamic - continuous form)
  Vs: “She has two sons, aged 5 and 8.” (Stative)

E.g. “What are you thinking about?” (Dynamic)
Vs. “What do you think about this food?” (Stative)

Printable PDFs for this lesson:

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