Action(dinamic) verbs are presented in 2 different forms:

The progressive which means that the action is not completed(finished) and the perfect which means that the action is completed.

Action verbs have final (resultant) states.İf we have reached this result state which is the final point of an action verb then we can say that this action is completed and we can express this completeness by using perfect aspect.For example:

"I have reached the house."

This means that the action of reaching the house is completed.I am currently in the final state of the action which is my being in the house. I once was a different location from my house then I came to a different place which is located between my start point and the house then finally I am at the final destination(the house).İn order to complete this action,my state(which is my location in this example) constantly changed.

When it comes to a stative verb like "to be" or "to own",there is only one state being expressed by this stative verb in contrast to an action verb which is composed of different states (The first state,states that are located between the first and the final states while the action is progressing,the final state)

Finally my question is that:

Can a stative verb be completed or the concept of completing(or finishing) is only restricted to action(state changing,dinamic) verbs?

  • All verbs, including state verbs, can use the perfect tenses. "I have wanted...", "I have needed...", "It has mattered...", etc. It's the continuous tenses where state verbs are restricted.
    – gotube
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 8:51
  • 1
    I have reached the house isn't a very helpful example in this context, since the "continuous, progressive, incomplete" version I am reaching the house is a very unlikely utterance. Note that only speakers of non-standard "Indian English" (not mainstream Anglophones) say things like I am owning [the things I possess], They are suspecting [him of a crime]. Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 10:23
  • @FumbleFingers That is not true. Two people on their phones - one on a cell phone in a car- and one says to the other: I'm reaching the house now.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 16:24
  • @Lambie: Well, it took you a couple of months to come up with that counterexample, so I think I can reasonably stand by the claim that it's a very unlikely utterance. Not as unlikely as my owning and suspecting examples, though, obviously! :) Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 16:32
  • @FumbleFingers This is the first time I've seen this. Someone seems to be opening up a lot of old question here and on ELU.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


There are states which are not permanent. As such, of course they can be completed, terminated.

  • I have hated him all this time, but I begin to see he is not as conceited as I thought him to be.
  • They've suspected him of fraud before, but the investigation was closed for lack of evidence.

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