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People say:

• English verbs can be placed in various classes depending on their meaning. In other words, they can be classified “semantically.” The most important of these classes are: event verbs and state verbs.

Event verbs refer to events—happenings that begin and end at a definite time. For example, the verb build as it is used in the sentence Jack built a beautiful house by the beach is an event verb.

State verbs refer to states—conditions or situations that are seen as not having any definite beginning or end; they are seen as permanent, in other words. For example, the verb own as it is used in the sentence Jack owns a beautiful house by the beach is a state verb.

Why state verbs are seen as not having any definite beginning or end?

Now see this sentence "I am at home" ("to be" is a state verb in this case). And, if you have a good watch, you can pinpoint the precise time you enter your house & the precise time you walk out of your house.

Another example, "I see her! I see her!" ("to see" is a state verb in this case). If you have someone watch your behavior, that person can define the specific time that you start seeing her & the time you stop seeing her.

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TL;DR (summary of my longer answer)
State verbs do not imply permanence, they simply omit any mention of (im)permanence due to its irrelevance in the current context.


I think this is a wrong interpretation of state verbs.

State verbs are not implied to have a definitive end and beginning, not because the state of things is provably permanent, but rather that their (lack of) permanence isn't relevant to the message that is currently being conveyed. The acknowledgement of beginning and ending is omitted as it is irrelevant in the current context.

State verbs have a very specific meaning: making a statement.

Jack owns a house

The intention of this sentence is to confirm that Jack owns a house (stating it as a fact, which was not yet known by the other person); rather than trying to imply how long he will own (or has owned) this house.

This sentence does not imply that Jack will own this house for eternity; it simply omits any acknowledgement of the temporariness of the ownership.

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    Whom are you quoting in that opening quotation block? And is the pronouncement (complete with comma splice) that follows the ever-rude "TL;DR" itself the "wrong interpretation" that you are disagreeing with in the following sentence? – Brian Donovan Jul 27 '17 at 11:54
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    @BrianDonovan: TL;DR can be used as a statement, meaning "I didn't read this, it is too long". However, it can also be used to denote a summary, specifically added for those who might feel that the full answer is too long. See here, the second definition of the initialism (although I'm not sure about the non-sequitur. I would expect a non-sequitur to simply be a comical subversion of an accurate summary). I am therefore not quoting anyone, this is a (non-rude) summary I have written. Your downvote seems a bit unwarranted here, if I may say. – Flater Jul 27 '17 at 11:57
  • @BrianDonovan: Nonetheless, I have updated my answer to prevent any further confusion. – Flater Jul 27 '17 at 12:00

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