In Toeic test, Part 1 shows a picture to testers, and they instruct to pick up an appropriate description. A picture shows that a man wears clothes, and several examples described are provided like the following.

#1. A man is putting on a jacket.

#2. A man is wearing a jacket.

#2 of two is a correct answer. As everyone knows, #1 expresses the ongoing of action. #2 expresses the state of completed action. I don't know the situation is well described though.

As you know, Be verb + ing shows that ongoing action is happening, but #2 shows the state in contrast with the same form. I want to know the reason for the difference and which verbs there are to the expression of the state.

  • 1
    The difference is because of the meaning of the verbs. As you say, to put on a garment is an action, to wear a garment is to have it on already. May 15, 2022 at 14:11
  • Toeic?? What's that?
    – Lambie
    May 15, 2022 at 15:09
  • @Lambie- Test of English for International Communication, apparently. May 15, 2022 at 15:35
  • wear : to have something on your body as a piece of clothing, a decoration, etc.
    – bak1936
    May 16, 2022 at 8:54

1 Answer 1


#1. A man is putting on a jacket.

#2. A man is wearing a jacket.

Verbs are said to be telic or atelic. That means the action has an end point or does not.


When someone puts on a jacket, the action has an end point. The verb is telic. You can refer to the point when he or she is putting it on, but, that point won't last for long:

"Hey, Amy, I'm putting on a jacket and I'll be right there!"

Once the jacket (or any other item of clothing) is put on, the person can keep wearing it for an indefinite period of time. The verb is atelic.

"Look, Amy, today I'm wearing my blue jacket!"

  • Thanks! Just difficult for me. The atelic verb example is she is walking down the street. The preposition down shows the beginning and the ending place, then why is it (is walking) the atelic verb without a endpoint?
    – bak1936
    May 15, 2022 at 16:05
  • @bak1936 walking up or walking down the street does not affect whether the verb is telic or not. walk/down the street//walk//up the street. Those are prepositional phrases and not phrasal verbs.
    – Lambie
    May 15, 2022 at 16:39
  • In the test, Could you explain me difference between in(within) a hour and for a hour? Even I don't get kind of a little difference between them.
    – bak1936
    May 15, 2022 at 17:06
  • @bak1936 First, we say: explain the difference to me, and not: explain me the difference. do something within an hour=before the hour (60 minutes) is finished. for an hour= do something for that length of time. :)
    – Lambie
    May 15, 2022 at 17:32
  • Thanks! I made a mistake, and I haven't know the exact meaning of the within. I have been reading the part linked in your post. I need more time. Even I haven't distinguished between exactly action verbs and state verbs. I learn difficulties reading it. Anyway, Thanks!
    – bak1936
    May 16, 2022 at 2:49

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