30 Examples of Action Verbs

An action verb is a word that expresses an action or occurrence. Action verbs can be physical or mental, and they can be used to describe a wide variety of activities.

Here are a few examples of action verbs:

  • Physical action verbs: run, jump, walk, talk, eat, sleep, dance, sing, play, swim, drive, cook, write, read
  • Mental action verbs: think, know, feel, believe, remember, forget, understand, imagine, dream, hope, love, hate

Here is an example of a short paragraph that uses a variety of action verbs:

The runner ran to the finish line. She had practiced for weeks, and she was not going to stop. The crowd cheered, and the runner raised her arms in triumph. She had done it. She was a winner.

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Examples of Action Verbs & Their Usage

Here are Examples of Action Verbs & Their Usage:

1. Run

Meaning: Move with quick steps using the legs

Usage in Sentences

  • I run every morning before breakfast.
  • She runs faster than me.
  • They run marathons competitively.
  • My dog loves to run at the park.
  • The bus runs an hour late today.

2. Jump

Meaning: Push oneself off a surface to become briefly airborne

Usage in Sentences

  • My dog jumps when he wants to play.
  • I jump rope for exercise.
  • She will attempt to jump over the fence.
  • Basketball players jump to make slam dunks.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions without more facts.

3. Cook

Meaning: Prepare food by heating it

Usage in Sentences

  • My mom will cook spaghetti for dinner tonight.
  • Grandma loves to cook big Sunday meals.
  • He goes home after work to cook.
  • We will cook hotdogs over the campfire.
  • I learned how to cook in culinary school.

4. Play

Meaning: Engage in fun activity

Usage in Sentences

  • The kids play games after school.
  • I play guitar in a band.
  • He will play chess against the computer.
  • We play sports with friends on weekends.
  • They enjoy going to playgrounds to play.

5. Wash

Meaning: Clean something using water or other liquid

Usage in Sentences

  • I wash my hands before eating meals.
  • You should wash fruits before eating them.
  • She will wash the dishes after we finish dinner.
  • The car wash washes the vehicle with soap and water.
  • My son hates when I make him wash clothes.

6. Write

Meaning: Produce text using a pen or pencil

Usage in Sentences

  • She loves to write science fiction stories.
  • I will write a letter to my aunt this weekend.
  • He writes code to develop mobile apps.
  • The journalist writes articles on politics.
  • Please write down directions so I don’t get lost.

7. Throw

Meaning: Hurl or launch an object through the air

Usage in Sentences

  • We throw trash in the dumpster out back.
  • I throw toys to play fetch with my dog.
  • Baseball pitchers throw fastballs approximately 1,000 times a season.
  • She will throw a surprise party for her parents’ anniversary.
  • The quarterback throws the football down the field.

8. Catch

Meaning: Capture a moving object in the hands

Usage in Sentences

  • The outfielder will catch the baseball.
  • I caught a big fish while sporting yesterday.
  • Try to catch snowflakes on your tongue during winter.
  • She catches the bouquet at every wedding.
  • He catches his keys that were tossed over.

9. Lift

Meaning: Raise or hold something up

Usage in Sentences

  • Please help me lift this heavy box onto the shelf.
  • I lift weights at the gym three times a week.
  • Cranes lift heavy construction materials high.
  • Babies need help lifting objects.
  • She struggles to lift her heavy luggage alone.

10. Mix

Meaning: Combine two or more substances

Usage in Sentences

  • Mix the batter well before pouring it into the cake pan.
  • The DJ mixes tracks at the dance club.
  • I mix different colors of paint together.
  • She will mix a cocktail for you.
  • Various breeds mix together at the dog park.

11. Cry

Meaning: Shed tears

Usage in Sentences

  • The baby cries when she is hungry.
  • I cry every time during sad movies.
  • He will cry tears of joy at his wedding.
  • She cries easily when upset.
  • Cutting onions make my eyes cry in the kitchen.

12. Laugh

Meaning: Make sounds expressing amusement or joy

Usage in Sentences

  • My brother laughs at silly Youtube videos.
  • The comedian tells jokes that make audiences laugh.
  • I laugh more when hanging out with funny friends.
  • Kids laugh loudly on playgrounds.
  • Tickling my niece always makes her uncontrollably laugh.

13. Crawl

Meaning: Move on hands and knees

Usage in Sentences

  • Once my niece could crawl, we had to baby proof the house.
  • The toddler crawls quicker than his brother walked at that age.
  • We have to slowly crawl in tunnels to avoid hitting our heads.
  • I crawled under fences as a short cut home as a kid.
  • The stock price continued crawling upward following analyst upgrades.

14. Talk

Meaning: Communicate through speech

Usage in Sentences

  • We will talk about the plans tomorrow morning.
  • I talk to my parents on the phone weekly.
  • My boss called me into her office to talk.
  • Politicians give televised talks discussing policies.
  • The teacher talks about math equations during lectures.

15. Sleep

Meaning: Rest with eyes closed and reduced consciousness

Usage in Sentences

  • Make sure you sleep enough each night.
  • The baby sleeps through much of the daytime.
  • I try not sleeping past 10am on weekends.
  • Many animals hibernate and sleep all winter.
  • He struggles falling asleep most nights.

16. Dance

Meaning: Move rhythmically to music

Usage in Sentences

  • I like to dance at weddings and parties.
  • She dances gracefully like a prima ballerina.
  • I dance in front of mirrors to practice technique.
  • He tap dances wearing special shoes.
  • The chorus line dancers high kick in unison.

17. Bake

Meaning: Cook food like bread or pastries in an oven

Usage in Sentences

  • My grandma will bake apple pies for the summer picnic.
  • I bake homemade chocolate chip cookies as holiday gifts.
  • She bakes wedding cakes professionally.
  • The hot summer sun bakes the dry clay soil.
  • He bakes ceramic pottery in the kiln.

18. Freeze

Meaning: Turn liquid to solid ice through extreme cold

Usage in Sentences

  • The water bottle will freeze if left outside overnight in winter.
  • The pond fully froze allowing ice skating.
  • Extreme cold freezes uncovered skin rapidly causing frostbite.
  • Cryogenics freezes tissue for preservation purposes.
  • I freeze extra bread to prevent it perishing quickly.

19. Melt

Meaning: Transition from solid into liquid state

Usage in Sentences

  • The ice cream melts quickly on hot days.
  • The heat melts candles into liquid wax.
  • Popsicles melt making a sticky mess for kids eating them.
  • Melt leftover fats to make fragrant soaps.
  • Butter melts into crevices when basting foods.

20. Boil

Meaning: Heat liquid until bubbling vigorously

Usage in Sentences

  • Boil pasta for 8-10 minutes before draining.
  • A watched pot never boils they say.
  • Eggs boil in hot water between 8-12 minutes depending on preference.
  • Steam boils from the pot through the lid.
  • My blood boils hearing lies being spread.

21. Fold

Meaning: Bend over on itself

Usage in Sentences

  • Fold the paper in half before putting it into the envelope.
  • Bake cakes creaming ingredients without folding them in.
  • Fold clothing neatly keeping creases aligned.
  • She folds origami paper into beautiful shapes.
  • Fold egg whites into the batter gently.

22. Cut

Meaning: Slice into something with a sharp tool

Usage in Sentences

  • Please cut along the dotted line.
  • Barber shops cut hair and style it.
  • The editor will cut unnecessary scenes from the movie.
  • Cut carrots into sticks before roasting them.
  • Glass cutters carefully score and split panes.

23. Tie

Meaning: Bind or fasten with string or cord

Usage in Sentences

  • Tie your shoelaces so you don’t trip.
  • Wrapped gifts get tied with bows frequently.
  • Tie back long hair when cooking or doing chemistry.
  • Flags get tied to poles flapping in the wind.
  • Boaters tie knots securing ships to docks.

24. Read

Meaning: Perceive text and process the meaning

Usage in Sentences

  • I enjoy reading novels on vacation at the beach.
  • My son is starting to read short books on his own.
  • Proofread writing before submitting it.
  • She loves reading poetry and lyrics.
  • I read boxes to compare product labels while shopping.

25. Sell

Meaning: Trade goods or services for money

Usage in Sentences

  • Many kids sell lemonade at a sidewalk stand in summer.
  • Car dealerships sell new and used vehicles.
  • Authors sell book distribution rights to publishers.
  • Families sometimes sell ancestral homes.
  • The bakery sells donuts by the dozen.

26. Shake

Meaning: Agitate back and forth briskly

Usage in Sentences

  • Shake the paint container before starting to mix the color.
  • Bond villains ask spies whether they prefer their martinis shaken or stirred.
  • Dogs shake water off themselves when wet.
  • I shake hands meeting new business partners.
  • Babies should not get shaken under any circumstances.

27. Print

Meaning: Generate text or images on paper

Usage in Sentences

  • You can print driving directions from the website.
  • Libraries allow printing documents from computers.
  • Newspapers print headlines in bold fonts.
  • Printers ink markings onto paper.
  • Fingerprints get printed for identification.

28. Destroy

Meaning: Ruin something completely

Usage in Sentences

  • The tornado will destroy anything in its path.
  • I destroyed my phone by dropping it in water.
  • The emperor destroyed historical artifacts symbolizing past dynasties.
  • Fire can rapidly destroy buildings.
  • Viruses destroy healthy cells after infection takes hold.

29. Crash

Meaning: Smash or collide violently

Usage in Sentences

  • Be careful not to crash your bike.
  • Falling stocks crashed the trading exchange temporarily.
  • Race cars crash violently during collisions.
  • Waves crash against sea walls with pounding power.
  • My computer crashes frequently displaying the blue screen of death.

30. Calculate

Meaning: Determine value through mathematical computation

Usage in Sentences

  • The scientist will calculate the results of the experiment.
  • We must calculate percentages to determine final grades.
  • Accountants calculate finances when preparing taxes.
  • Devices automatically calculate totals when tallying bills.
  • I used a calculator when learning to manually calculate proved difficult.

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