An action verb is a word that describes… an action! When something happens in a sentence, the action verb is the word that expresses that action.
For example, the words eat and jump are action verbs. They tell you exactly what happened.
You probably use action verbs all the time without realizing it because they’re one of the basic building blocks of communication in English.
Can you sing? Do you eat breakfast? Check out these action verb flashcards with simple images. To move to the next slide click </>.
Can you jump?
Can you read?
Can you sing?
Do you like to walk?
Can you sit?
Compare these verbs, and see if you can identify how they’re different:
As you can see from these lists, action verbs have a lot more energy than stative or linking verbs. This makes them essential for good writing.
Whether you’re writing essays, newspaper articles, resumes, or client reports, action verbs bring your ideas to life. In a history paper, action verbs will make your text much more exciting to read. And on your resume, action verbs will highlight all of the hard work you’ve been doing.
There are several other types of verbs in English, but these don’t pack as much of a punch in writing. For example, there are stative and linking verbs.
Stative verbs, as the name suggests, report a state of being, rather than something that is actually happening. On the other hand, a linking verb simply connects the subject and the complement that describes the subject of the sentence.
Action verbs are a little different than stative and linking verbs because you can use action verbs in any tense. (Stative and linking verbs are more limited)
So, past, present, and future are all okay!
Here are some examples:
Everything you do, every single day, is an action verb! Here are some common action verbs you might come across.
Here are some everyday action verbs, you may have seen some of them before!
You can quickly explain exactly what you did at school with just a word or two. So, take a look at these verbs to help you describe the work you’ve been doing and show off how good you are at school!
Action verbs are a very easy concept to grasp, but using them in your writing has huge implications. Action verbs are much more exciting than stative or linking verbs, so people will engage better with what you have to say.
So, add passion to your writing with more action verbs!
And for more great grammar resources, check out the other articles on this page. There are many useful tips and tricks for jazzing up your writing!
Want more resources for elementary students? Check out the links below.