Action Verbs: A Quick Guide

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to speak English without using verbs? Well, you can try, but soon you will realize you won't be able to say much, and people will struggle to understand you. 

Verbs introduce dynamics in your spoken and written communication as they convey important meanings. And if you have attended English language courses in your neighborhood in California, you have probably learned that not only are they indispensable, but there are also different types of verbs within four types of sentences.

In previous blog posts, we have tackled modal verbs and some of their meanings, as well as linking verbs and how to identify them. Here we will deal with one of the largest categories of verbs: action verbs. Keep reading to learn more!

How many action verbs are there in English?

As their name suggests, action verbs express an action, be it physical or mental. They can describe events too. As such, they have a strong impact on our daily communication. They provide instant and vivid information and help the reader visualize the subject engaged in the activity.

If you want to count action verbs, you will soon discover the list is way too long. Just open any monolingual dictionary, and you will see it for yourself.

Actually, there are hundreds of action verbs in English conveying some subtle differences in meanings, making the English lexicon one of the most colorful aspects of the language. 

Let’s look at these two examples to prove it:

  • The boys jumped over the fence. 
  • The boys hurdled the fence.

The verb “to jump” can be used in various contexts, and it means “to push yourself suddenly off the ground and into the air using your legs” (jump into the water, jump up and down, etc.). However, “to hurdle”, means “to jump over a frame or fence”, so we can’t use it as widely as “to jump” as it indicates a special kind of jumping.

What are some examples of action verbs?

To determine if a verb is an action verb, you’ll need to look at the sentence and ask yourself what kind of information the verb provides. Does it describe the activity or the state of the subject? Or does it merely connect it with the rest of the sentence? If the first is the case, then it is an action verb.

Here are some examples of action verbs:

  • The boy ran across the street.
  • My mom and dad often work overtime.
  • The bird flies in the sky.
  • My grandma is digging in her garden now.
  • Ron and his girlfriend hugged affectionately.

Where can I attend comprehensive English language courses in California?

Learning verbs is not easy, we all know it. You can’t just open a dictionary and memorize them all. That would be too time-consuming! So to get a better handle on verbs, you need a systematic approach. And a lot of practice. That’s why, here at the College of English Language, we have prepared specially-tailored courses that can assist you on your journey. 

Our native teachers boast incredible experience and tried-and-true English language teaching methods, and they will offer you their helping hand whenever you need it. On top of that, we offer both online and offline classes, all designed to satisfy your individual needs!

Don’t hesitate to enroll: our classes are fun, activity-based, and you will get immersed in an English-speaking environment in no time. Soon you’ll find yourself strolling in Hillcrest, one of our favorite neighborhoods for outdoor shopping, confident you can use your English to communicate freely. Don’t wait any longer! Visit our schools in San Diego, Pacific Beach, or Santa Monica, and let’s learn English together. 




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