Stative Passives

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Stative passives are verb-like words that follow "be" in sentences and function as adjectives. See the examples below:

    He is hungry.

    He is interested

    His leg is broken


    (Stative passive)

    (Stative passive)

Stative passives indicate a status or condition which may exist over a period of time. In contrast, action verbs often indicate a change from one status to another.

    We got married in 1998.

    We are married now.

    Jack broke the window.

    The window is broken.

    (Action: We changed from "single" to "married.")

    Status: Our current condition is "married.")

    (Action: Indicates what happened at a given moment.)

    (Status: Indicates the condition of the window.)

Note how the action/status contrast works with other verbs:

    Jared fell asleep.

    Jared is asleep.

    Joan became sick.

    Joan is sick.

    The building caught fire.

    The building is on fire now.

    The doctor came in.

    The doctor is in.

    (Action: Change in status from "awake" to "asleep").

    (Status: Indicates Jared's current condition.)

    (Action: Joan changed from "healthy" to "sick.")

    (Status: Joan's present condition.)

    (Action: Indicates the point when the fire started.)

    (Status: Indicates the condition of the building.)



Stative passives are often used with prepositional expressions.

See Grammar: Preposition Collocations with "Be".

    She is interested in photography.

    Brad was worried about his mother.

    Carmen is terrified of snakes.

    Everyone was caught up in the excitement.

Some adjectives also fit in the same pattern:

    Karen is fond of chocolates.

    I'm crazy about sports cars.

    You're full of baloney.