Verbs of Movement (English Vocabulary)

ESL Vocabulary for Verbs of Movement

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The following page has learning games and example sentences using the following 31 words from the "verbs of movement" category:
Understanding verbs of movement helps in describing actions related to travel and transportation.

Memory Game

Pairs: getting ready...

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getting ready...
  • Your mission is to pair pictures with their correct titles in as few a clicks as possible.
  • Click on a card to turn it. Next, try to find its partner by clicking on a second card. (If you fail to find a match with your second click, both cards will turn again.)
  • This is a memory game as well as a vocabulary-learning game.
  • Click on your first card to start. Good luck!
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Example Sentences


tiptoe icon

to walk quietly and carefully on the tips of one's toes, typically to avoid making noise or to move stealthily

Easy Examples

  • Tiptoe means walking quietly on your toes, like a secret spy.
  • You can tiptoe when you want to surprise someone or not make noise.
  • Tiptoeing is like being a sneaky ninja.

Harder Examples

  • She tiptoed into the room so as not to wake the sleeping baby.
  • He tiptoed around the creaky floorboards in the old house.
  • They tiptoed past the guard to access the restricted area.


trip icon

to stumble or lose balance and fall due to catching one's foot on something or losing coordination

Easy Examples

  • Tripping is when you accidentally fall down because something is in your way.
  • Be careful not to trip on toys or rocks on the ground.
  • Tripping can happen when you're not looking where you're going.

Harder Examples

  • She tripped over a root while hiking in the forest.
  • He almost tripped on the uneven pavement.
  • They laughed when their friend accidentally tripped over their own shoelaces.


walk icon

to move on foot at a regular pace by alternating steps of the feet, typically at a slower speed than running

Easy Examples

  • Walking is how you move by taking one step after another with your feet.
  • We walk to go to school, the park, or visit friends.
  • Walking is a simple and fun way to get around.

Harder Examples

  • They decided to walk to the park instead of taking the car.
  • She enjoys taking long walks along the beach at sunset.
  • He walked his dog every morning in the neighborhood.


wave icon

to move one's hand or arm back and forth as a greeting or signal

Easy Examples

  • Waving is saying 'hello' or 'goodbye' by moving your hand back and forth.
  • People wave at each other to be friendly and greet one another.
  • Waving is like saying 'hi' without words.

Harder Examples

  • She waved goodbye to her friends as the train pulled away from the station.
  • He waved to his neighbor from across the street.
  • They waved flags to show their support for the team.


bend icon

to flex or curve a part of the body or an object by bringing it down or forward

Easy Examples

  • Bending is when you make something go from straight to a little bit curved.
  • You can bend a stick or bend your knees to sit down.
  • Bending helps you reach things on the ground.

Harder Examples

  • She bent down to tie her shoelaces.
  • He bent the metal rod into a U-shape with his hands.
  • They had to bend the tree branches to clear the pathway.


carry icon

to hold and transport something from one place to another

Easy Examples

  • Carrying is holding something and taking it with you as you move.
  • We carry backpacks to school and groceries from the store.
  • Carrying things can be heavy or light, like carrying a teddy bear.

Harder Examples

  • She carried a heavy backpack filled with books to school.
  • He carefully carried the fragile vase across the room.
  • They helped carry groceries from the car to the kitchen.


cartwheel icon

a gymnastic move where a person rotates sideways while their hands and feet touch the ground alternately

Easy Examples

  • A cartwheel is a fun gymnastic move where you roll your body sideways with your hands and feet in the air.
  • Kids do cartwheels in the grass or on soft ground and feel like acrobats.
  • Cartwheels show off your flips and tricks.

Harder Examples

  • She performed a perfect cartwheel during the gymnastics competition.
  • He taught his younger sibling how to do a cartwheel in the backyard.
  • They watched in amazement as the acrobat executed a series of cartwheels.


catch icon

to grasp or seize something in the air or with one's hands

Easy Examples

  • Catching means grabbing something that is thrown or flying through the air.
  • You can catch a ball or a balloon when someone tosses it to you.
  • Catching is like being a superhero with quick hands.

Harder Examples

  • She caught the baseball that was thrown to her.
  • He tried to catch a falling leaf as it twirled to the ground.
  • They cheered when their friend successfully caught the frisbee.


clap icon

to strike the palms of one's hands together to create a sound, often as a form of applause or rhythmic expression

Easy Examples

  • Clapping is when you strike your hands together to make a sound, like applauding for a good performance.
  • People clap at concerts, shows, and to show they liked something.
  • Clapping can be loud or soft, depending on how you do it.

Harder Examples

  • The audience clapped enthusiastically after the performance.
  • He clapped his hands to the beat of the music.
  • They clapped in appreciation of the speaker's words.


crawl icon

to move slowly and low to the ground, typically on hands and knees or with the body close to the surface

Easy Examples

  • Crawling is how babies move on their hands and knees or belly, like a cute little animal.
  • Babies learn to crawl before they can walk and explore the world.
  • Crawling is like a baby's first adventure.

Harder Examples

  • The baby learned to crawl before taking their first steps.
  • He had to crawl through a narrow tunnel in the cave.
  • They crawled under the table to retrieve a dropped toy.


dance icon

to move rhythmically and expressively to music, typically by stepping and moving the body in a coordinated way

Easy Examples

  • Dancing is moving your body to music, like when you groove to your favorite song.
  • People dance at parties, weddings, and when they feel happy.
  • Dancing is a way to express yourself and have a blast.

Harder Examples

  • She loved to dance at parties and weddings.
  • He took dance lessons to learn different styles like salsa and tango.
  • They danced under the stars on a warm summer night.


dive icon

to plunge headfirst into water or a surface, often for swimming or as a form of acrobatics

Easy Examples

  • Diving is jumping headfirst into water, like a joyful splash.
  • You dive into pools or the sea on a hot day to have a refreshing swim.
  • Diving is a super cool way to make a big splash.

Harder Examples

  • She dove into the pool with a graceful somersault.
  • He dared his friends to dive off the diving board at the lake.
  • They watched as the dolphins performed incredible dives in the ocean.


drag icon

to pull or haul something along a surface, often with effort and force

Easy Examples

  • Dragging is when you pull something heavy or tough to move it on the ground.
  • You might drag a heavy suitcase at the airport or a sled in the snow.
  • Dragging something takes strength and effort.

Harder Examples

  • She had to drag the heavy suitcase up the stairs.
  • He dragged a fallen tree branch out of the pathway.
  • They dragged a sled loaded with firewood through the snow.


hit icon

to strike something with force, typically with a part of the body or an object

Easy Examples

  • Hitting means giving something or someone a little tap or bump with your hand or another object.
  • Kids play games and hit balls with bats or rackets.
  • Hitting gently is fun in games but not with friends.

Harder Examples

  • She hit the tennis ball with a powerful backhand stroke.
  • He accidentally hit his thumb with the hammer while building a shelf.
  • They played catch and tried not to hit each other too hard.


jump icon

to propel oneself off the ground or surface with one's legs, often to reach a higher point or for exercise

Easy Examples

  • Jumping is pushing off the ground with your feet and going up into the air for a moment.
  • Kids love to jump on trampolines and hop around like kangaroos.
  • Jumping makes you feel like you can touch the sky.

Harder Examples

  • She could jump really high on the trampoline.
  • He jumped over the puddle to avoid getting wet.
  • They practiced long jump at the track and field competition.


kick icon

to strike something or someone with one's foot, often with force

Easy Examples

  • Kicking is using your foot to give something a little push or tap.
  • Soccer players kick the ball with their feet to score goals.
  • Kicking can be fun and is like a soccer superstar move.

Harder Examples

  • She kicked the soccer ball into the goal to score a point.
  • He accidentally kicked the chair while walking through the room.
  • They kicked the fallen leaves on their autumn hike.


kiss icon

to press one's lips against someone or something as a sign of affection or greeting

Easy Examples

  • Kissing is touching someone or something with your lips to show love or care.
  • People kiss their family and friends to show they care and love them.
  • Kissing is a sweet way to say 'I like you.'

Harder Examples

  • She gave her grandmother a warm kiss on the cheek.
  • He kissed the love letter before sealing it in an envelope.
  • They shared a sweet kiss under the mistletoe during the holiday party.


lean icon

to incline or bend one's body or an object in a particular direction

Easy Examples

  • Leaning is when you move your body or something else in a special way to rest or see better.
  • You can lean against a tree to take a break or lean forward to see something exciting.
  • Leaning helps you rest and explore.

Harder Examples

  • She leaned against the tree to rest for a moment.
  • He leaned over the balcony to get a better view of the parade.
  • They leaned their bikes against the wall before entering the café.

lie down

lie down icon

to recline or rest one's body in a horizontal position, typically on a bed, couch, or the ground

Easy Examples

  • Lying down means resting your body flat on your back, like when you're ready to sleep.
  • After a long day, people lie down in their comfy beds to get some rest.
  • Lying down makes you feel cozy and relaxed.

Harder Examples

  • She decided to lie down on the hammock and relax.
  • He lied down on the grass to watch the clouds drift by.
  • They lied down under the stars during their camping trip.


lift icon

to raise or elevate something or someone, often using one's strength or mechanical means

Easy Examples

  • Lifting is picking up something heavy and moving it up in the air.
  • We lift books, toys, or even a teddy bear for a big hug.
  • Lifting helps you feel strong and helpful.

Harder Examples

  • She lifted the heavy box with great effort.
  • He lifted his son onto his shoulders for a better view of the parade.
  • They used a crane to lift the construction materials to the upper floors.


pull icon

to exert force to move something towards oneself or in a particular direction, typically by using hands or a tool

Easy Examples

  • Pulling is using your muscles to make something move toward you or away from something else.
  • You pull the door to open it and pull your friend's hand when you want to play.
  • Pulling is a strong and helpful action.

Harder Examples

  • She pulled the door open to enter the room.
  • He pulled the sled with all his might up the hill.
  • They pulled the weeds from the garden to make it look neat.


punch icon

to strike with a closed fist, often in a forceful or aggressive manner

Easy Examples

  • Punching is giving something or someone a little hit with your closed fist.
  • Boxers punch each other in the ring during a fight match.
  • Punching is a sport and not something we do with friends.

Harder Examples

  • She punched the punching bag as part of her workout routine.
  • He accidentally punched the air when he slipped on the ice.
  • They punched holes in the paper to put it in a binder.


push icon

to exert force to move something away from oneself or in a particular direction, typically by using hands or a tool

Easy Examples

  • Pushing is using your muscles to make something move away from you or toward something else.
  • You push your friend on the swing to make it go higher or push a cart in a store.
  • Pushing is a way to move things easily.

Harder Examples

  • She pushed the shopping cart through the grocery store aisle.
  • He pushed the door to open it and enter the room.
  • They pushed the car to get it out of the muddy driveway.


ride icon

to sit on and control a vehicle or animal for transportation or recreation

Easy Examples

  • Riding is sitting on something like a bike, car, or horse and moving along.
  • Kids enjoy riding their bicycles and scooters in the park.
  • Riding is a fun and easy way to go places.

Harder Examples

  • She loved to ride her bicycle along the scenic trail.
  • He rode a horse for the first time during his vacation.
  • They rode the roller coaster and screamed with excitement.


run icon

to move rapidly on foot, typically at a faster pace than walking, by alternating strides of the legs

Easy Examples

  • Running is moving really fast on your feet by taking big steps.
  • Children run and play in the yard to have fun and stay active.
  • Running is a great way to exercise and stay healthy.

Harder Examples

  • She ran a marathon and crossed the finish line with a smile.
  • He ran to catch the bus before it pulled away from the stop.
  • They ran around the playground, playing tag with their friends.


sit icon

to rest one's body on a surface, typically a chair or seat, with one's weight supported

Easy Examples

  • Sitting is resting on your bottom with your legs bent at the knees.
  • We sit in chairs, on the grass, or on a bench when we want to relax.
  • Sitting is comfy and makes you feel rested.

Harder Examples

  • She liked to sit by the window and read a book.
  • He sat at the dining table and enjoyed a delicious meal.
  • They sat on the park bench and watched the children play.


skip icon

to move forward by hopping or jumping lightly, often with one foot taking a quick step over the other

Easy Examples

  • Skipping is moving forward by hopping on one foot while the other foot is up in the air.
  • Kids often skip when they're happy and want to play around.
  • Skipping is a joyful and bouncy activity.

Harder Examples

  • She skipped rope in the schoolyard during recess.
  • He skipped stones across the calm surface of the lake.
  • They skipped along the beach, collecting seashells.


stand icon

to support one's body on the feet, often in an upright position

Easy Examples

  • Standing is being upright on your feet without sitting or lying down.
  • People stand in lines, at the bus stop, and during the national anthem.
  • Standing tall shows you're strong and respectful.

Harder Examples

  • She stood in line patiently, waiting for her turn.
  • He stood on the podium and received a medal for his achievement.
  • They stood together at the concert, enjoying the music.


stretch icon

to extend one's body or limbs to full length, often to increase flexibility or relieve tension

Easy Examples

  • Stretching is making your body or arms and legs reach as far as they can go.
  • Stretching in the morning helps wake up your body and get ready for the day.
  • Stretching keeps your muscles flexible and happy.

Harder Examples

  • She stretched her arms and legs after waking up in the morning.
  • He stretched his back to ease the stiffness from sitting too long.
  • They stretched their bodies in yoga poses to relax and unwind.


swim icon

to move through water by propelling oneself with one's arms and legs, often for recreation or exercise

Easy Examples

  • Swimming is moving your body through water by using your arms and legs.
  • Many people love swimming in pools, lakes, and the ocean.
  • Swimming is a valuable skill and so much fun!

Harder Examples

  • She learned to swim at a young age and felt at home in the pool.
  • He swam in the clear blue waters of the ocean during his vacation.
  • They swam laps in the indoor pool to stay fit and healthy.


throw icon

to propel an object through the air with force and intention, often to reach a specific target

Easy Examples

  • Throwing means sending something through the air by using your hand or arm.
  • You throw balls, frisbees, and paper airplanes for fun and games.
  • Throwing things can be a cool way to make them fly.

Harder Examples

  • She threw the frisbee to her friend at the park.
  • He threw a basketball into the hoop and scored a point.
  • They threw pebbles into the pond, creating ripples on the surface.
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