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Action Verb | Examples of Action Verbs Used in English Grammar


Lights, Camera, Action Verbs! English can feel overwhelming sometimes, but breaking it down into smaller pieces makes it easier to manage! Verbs are one of the most important parts of English. Some of the most basic sentences are made up of a subject and a verb, and the subject can even just be implied sometimes. For example, “Go,” is a complete sentence, with “You” as the implied subject.

This lesson focuses specifically on action verbs.

Action Verb

What Is An Action Verb?

verb is a word that tells what’s being done in a sentence. An action verb is a verb that shows action. Most verbs that people think about when they name verbs are action verbs. Other types of verbs include linking verbs and helping verbs, both of which tend to have smaller parts in sentences. Action verbs are the ones that really tell what’s happening. Action verbs are the ones that show what a person or animal is doing.

Why Learn Action Verbs?

Action verbs exist everywhere, so they’re very important to know. They’re all over, in many sentences, including ones in this lesson. Learning to use them, and learning to use them correctly, is a fantastic way to improve your English and expand your vocabulary.

Action Verbs

There are two types of action verbs: transitive and intransitive. These are determined by how the verb is used more than by what the verb is.

Transitive Action Verbs

Transitive action verbs tell what the subject of a sentence does to the object of a sentence. A good little trick for remembering this is that transitive verbs transfer the action.

Here are some examples of transitive action verbs in sentences:

  • The cat ate the food.

You could say, “The food was eaten by the cat.” This would be passive voice, but it’s a good way to spot a transitive verb, because it’s doing something to the object.

  • The child reads a book.
  • The princess kisses a frog.

Intransitive Action Verbs

With intransitive verbs, the verb only tells what the subject is doing. The sentence doesn’t need an object, and any extra description still applies to the subject and verb.

Here are some examples of intransitive action verbs in sentences:

  • The boy whispered with caution.

Unlike the transitive verbs, this one doesn’t have an object that the verb is affecting. Even though the sentence goes on past the verb, “with caution” only describes how the boy whispered, not to whom he was whispering.

  • The dog barked.
  • The student laughed gleefully.

Action Verbs List

There are too many different action verbs to list in a single lesson, but what follows is a list of many different action verbs.

  • Go
  • Stop
  • Run
  • Walk
  • Jump
  • Swim
  • Dig
  • Throw
  • Catch
  • Sleep
  • Play
  • Avoid
  • Dress
  • Undress
  • Look
  • Purr
  • Bark
  • Whisper
  • Shout
  • Overwhelm
  • Break
  • Fix
  • Repair
  • Make
  • Imply
  • Infer
  • Create
  • Destroy
  • Learn
  • Forget
  • Sing
  • Dance
  • Jog
  • Drive
  • Pack
  • Arrive
  • Leave
  • Stay
  • Lift
  • Drop
  • Fall
  • Give
  • Take
  • Lie
  • Roll
  • Slide
  • Kick
  • Poke
  • Smile
  • Frown

As you can see, there’s really an action verb for anything that a person, animal, or thing can do.

Action verbs picture

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