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What is an action verb?


Every child has a favorite hobby! Whether it’s singing, playing with toys, running, or reading. But, what do all of these activities have in common? Well, for once, action verbs are used to talk about them!

All verbs express different occurrences, states, and actions done by a subject in a sentence. So, what makes an action verb different? What is an action verb? These are the ones used to talk about the different actions that are happening and the physical activities that a subject might perform. Usually, they’re the most known verbs, which make them the perfect start for all English learners, from native English Speakers to ESL students. They are also called “dynamic verbs”, and even though they are common when describing physical activities such as walking, or reading, there are some cases where it’s not that easy to spot their meaning, like thinking.

As one may guess, there are plenty of verbs and action words that children can learn! However, learning the verbs in English can be really difficult for some children, since a verb is such an abstract concept for them to grasp. Then, how do we choose where to start? Pre-K children and even younger learners might find difficult and overwhelming to study all these words at once, that’s why this topic it’s usually divided and taught throughout the school years. On the other hand, the earlier children start learning about these words, the more advantage they’ll have in their future education.

Given their importance in speech, it’s essential for the little ones to start little by little, learning the most common ones that are frequently used in the daily activities, such as sleep, eat, run, walk, talk. Children usually learn these actions without even thinking about it, it’s something that comes naturally to growth.

To learn the rest of the verbs, which are not used as often, the key is to make this learning process effortless entertaining, and natural. For starters, parents can think of different tasks that require action verbs and practice these in the house. Also, singing songs for kids and playing games related to the topic could be very helpful to reinforce new vocabulary. It’s good to remember that all kids learn at different paces and is not in the same way, so it’s best to mix up the teaching techniques and learning activities to get better results. Now, let’s take a look at some of the verbs that the youngest ones in the house can learn more easily.



Action Verbs List

Since young children tend to be very active -and are always looking for the next adventure-, let’s take a look at some of the English action verbs they can learn naturally.


Jump - Action verbs Run - Action verbs


bike

cry

dance

eat

feel

jump

listen

read

run

see

sing

sleep

sneeze

swim

taste

walk


These few words are great to have some practice during the early childhood since the actions they represent can be easily learned at home. Now, let’s take a close look at more action words that children can learn as they grow up, and start incorporating into their vocabulary.

Action verbs can be grouped into several different categories, they can talk about organizational actions, critical thinking actions, or communication words. Some are more easy to identify and explain than others. However, here you’ll find a list of the most common action words in English to start practicing with your little ones.


achieve

activate

adjust

analyze

announce

arrange

ask

assist

authorize

bake

begin

build

buy

categorize

check

close

come

communicate

compare

complete

construct

convince

cook

create

cut

decide

discover

divide

do

doodle

earn

educate

eliminate

encourage

exit

explain

explore

gather

go

guide

help

identify

imagine

inform

inspire

install

joke

kick

load

match

meet

motivate

obtain

open

organize

place

prepare

preserve

print

program

save

separate

sharpen

shop

show

skate

speak

specialize

study

succeed

suggest

teach

throw

travel

upload

view

visit

volunteer

wake up

wait

win

write

Action verbs can be used for so many things, and in some many different sentence structures, however, it’s advisable to start with simple examples so the little ones can learn more naturally, as they get to practice each one of these words.

Let’s take a look at some sentences you can use daily with your children to practice the different action words in English.



Action verbs examples

Mary goes to her grandma’s house every Sunday. 

He is Tom. He  is building  a toy castle! 

My sister helps me with my homework. 

Elena is playing and laughing. 

Paul writes a letter to his mother. 

C’mon, James! Throw the ball! 

Diana swims in the lake. 

The leaves fall from the trees. 

Hi! Can I ask you a question?

Ramon will climb the climbing wall. 

What are you going to eat for dinner?

Sarah bakes a cake. 

Emily and Erick are always joking

Sandra loves football! She always kicks the ball. 

The girls go to the beach in July.

Worksheets

Here you'll find downloadable worksheets in English for printing, so your kids can keep learning through these exercises.

Songs

Discover a great selection of children's songs to learn English

Audio Books

Find out all the fun stories here in English for kids.

Games

Games for kids in English, help your little ones learn while they're having fun!

Screens

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