Action Verbs: What They Are and How to Use Them

Andrew Dinu

Verbs are the backbone of sentences, and action verbs, in particular, add movement and dynamism to our language. In this blog post, we’ll break down what action verbs are, provide examples to illustrate their use, and discuss how they differ from stative and linking verbs.

What are Action Verbs?

Action verbs are the type of verb, these are words that express physical or mental actions. These verbs describe what a subject does, bringing a sense of activity and motion to our sentences.

Examples of Action Verbs:

Let’s take a look at some straightforward examples of action verbs:

Base FormPast TensePresent ParticiplePast Participle

These examples show how action verbs (run, jump, write, eat) can depict various activities in different tenses.

What are the Types of Action Verbs?

Action verbs can be categorized into several types based on the kind of action they describe. Here are some common types of action verbs:

Physical Action Verbs:

  • These verbs describe actions that involve physical movement or activity.
  • Examples: run, jump, walk, swim, dance, climb, lift, kick.

Mental Action Verbs:

  • These verbs describe actions related to mental processes, such as thinking, learning, or understanding.
  • Examples: think, learn, understand, analyze, imagine, remember.

Communication Action Verbs:

  • Verbs that involve the exchange of information or communication.
  • Examples: talk, speak, write, read, listen, discuss.

Creation Action Verbs:

  • Verbs that describe the act of creating or producing something.
  • Examples: create, build, design, compose, craft, paint.

Emotional Action Verbs:

  • Verbs that express emotions or reactions.
  • Examples: smile, laugh, cry, cheer, sigh, frown.

Consumption Action Verbs:

  • Verbs related to consuming or using something.
  • Examples: eat, drink, taste, consume, use.

Motion Action Verbs:

  • Verbs that describe various types of movement.
  • Examples: move, travel, navigate, drive, fly.

Manipulation Action Verbs:

  • Verbs related to handling or manipulating objects.
  • Examples: handle, manipulate, lift, carry, push, pull.

Social Action Verbs:

  • Verbs related to social interactions and relationships.
  • Examples: meet, greet, socialize, collaborate, connect.

Performance Action Verbs:

  • Verbs related to performing activities or tasks.
  • Examples: perform, execute, accomplish, complete, achieve.

List of Action Verbs:

Here’s a list of action verbs to help you express various activities and movements:

  1. Run
  2. Jump
  3. Walk
  4. Talk
  5. Write
  6. Read
  7. Eat
  8. Sleep
  9. Dance
  10. Sing
  11. Play
  12. Swim
  13. Climb
  14. Build
  15. Create
  16. Solve
  17. Think
  18. Speak
  19. Drive
  20. Cook
  21. Cycle
  22. Fly
  23. Laugh
  24. Cry
  25. Paint
  26. Draw
  27. Lift
  28. Kick
  29. Push
  30. Pull
  31. Shake
  32. Hug
  33. Kiss
  34. Smile
  35. Wave
  36. Surf
  37. Ski
  38. Skate
  39. Jog
  40. Hike

Action Verbs vs. Stative Verbs:

Action verbs describe actions, while stative verbs convey static states or conditions. Let’s compare some examples:

Action Verbs Examples:

  1. The cat chases the mouse.
  2. She creates beautiful paintings.
  3. We play soccer every weekend.

Stative Verbs Examples:

  1. He knows the answer.
  2. She owns a lovely house.
  3. They understand the concept.

As seen in these examples, action verbs represent dynamic activities, while stative verbs express unchanging states or conditions.

Linking Verbs vs. Action Verbs:

Linking verbs, unlike action verbs, connect the subject to a complement but don’t express action. Here’s a quick comparison:

Action Verbs Examples:

  1. The flowers bloomed beautifully.
  2. He solved the puzzle.
  3. They laughed at the joke.

Linking Verbs Examples:

  1. The flowers are beautiful.
  2. He seemed confused.
  3. They became friends.

Linking verbs (are, seemed, became) link the subject to the complement without indicating action.


Q: What are action verbs?

Action verbs, or dynamic verbs, express physical or mental actions, adding vitality to sentences. Examples include run, jump, and eat.

Q: What types of action verbs exist?

Action verbs categorize into physical (run), mental (think), communication (talk), creation (create), emotional (smile), consumption (eat), motion (move), manipulation (handle), social (meet), and performance (perform) verbs.

Q: How do action verbs differ from stative verbs?

Action verbs depict dynamic activities (e.g., play soccer), while stative verbs convey unchanging states or conditions (e.g., know the answer).

Q: How are linking verbs distinct from action verbs?

Linking verbs (e.g., are, seemed) connect subjects to complements without indicating action, unlike action verbs that express dynamic activities.


Understanding action verbs enhances your ability to communicate effectively. By discerning action verbs from stative and linking verbs, you can craft clearer and more engaging sentences. So, the next time you want your writing to pack a punch, consider the impact of action verbs!