Introduction to Tenses: Verb: Where is the border between Action and Stative Verbs?

The same verb may express both a state and an action.

He smokes (state, he is in the state of being a smoking person)

He smokes 2 cigarettes a day, which is still bad for his health (action verb, he performs process of smoking twice a day)

I think, the main difference is if there is a process or not.

“For the first time in my lifetime I am seeing people rolling up their sleeves in way that I haven’t seen and really trying to figure this out, and that’s the source of pride I was talking about,” she continued.

“What I am seeing is devastating — these women and children have risked everything to come to this Somalia camp, just to get food,” Jackson said. “They need our help.”

Again, I have no direct knowledge of this, but this is what I am understanding.

Probably, to better distinguish between process and state, we could replace the verb part of the sentence with “start + verb” construction.

Again, I have no direct knowledge of this, but this is what I am starting to understand.

Or another tip, if we can describe a situation taking place at this very moment of speaking, and normally this described situation won’t happen the way it is, we may think of a classically stative verb as the one with a dynamic sense. If anybody has a better statement, please, let me know.

“What I am seeing is devastating — these women and children have risked everything to come to this Somalia camp, just to get food,” Jackson said. “They need our help.”

Probably, we could describe this construction as see + unusual situation = “see” has a dynamic shade.

“For the first time in my lifetime I am seeing people rolling up their sleeves in way that I haven’t seen and really trying to figure this out, and that’s the source of pride I was talking about,” she continued.

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