Verbs (English Vocabulary)

ESL Vocabulary for Verbs

The following page has learning games and example sentences using the following 49 words from the "verbs" category:
Mastering verbs is fundamental because they are the action words that form the backbone of sentences and communication.

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!
Scoring System

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Example Sentences


run icon

to move rapidly on foot, covering a distance with quick steps

Easy Examples

  • I like to run in the park.
  • People run in races.
  • Dogs can run very fast.

Harder Examples

  • She decided to run a marathon to challenge herself physically and mentally.
  • He often went for a run in the park to clear his mind and stay fit.
  • They raced each other to see who could run the fastest.


serve icon

to provide a service or help others, often by offering assistance or serving food and drinks

Easy Examples

  • I can serve you some food.
  • Waiters serve customers in restaurants.
  • She likes to serve tea to her guests.

Harder Examples

  • She volunteered at the local food bank to serve meals to those in need.
  • He worked as a waiter and learned how to serve customers with professionalism.
  • They organized a charity event to serve the homeless population in their community.


shiver icon

to tremble or shake involuntarily, typically due to cold or fear

Easy Examples

  • I shiver when it's cold outside.
  • People often shiver when they are scared.
  • Shivering can help keep you warm.

Harder Examples

  • She wrapped herself in a warm blanket as she began to shiver in the chilly night air.
  • He couldn't help but shiver when he heard a spooky noise in the dark forest.
  • They shivered with excitement as they waited for their turn on the thrilling amusement park ride.


shout icon

to speak loudly and forcefully, often to get someone's attention or express strong emotions

Easy Examples

  • Sometimes I shout when I'm excited.
  • People shout to get someone's attention.
  • Please don't shout in the library.

Harder Examples

  • She had to shout to be heard over the noise of the crowded concert.
  • He shouted at the top of his lungs to warn his friends about the approaching danger.
  • They shouted with joy when they won the championship game.


shower icon

to cleanse oneself with water, often using soap, shampoo, and warm water, typically in a bathroom

Easy Examples

  • I take a shower every morning.
  • A warm shower can be very relaxing.
  • Showering helps you stay clean.

Harder Examples

  • She enjoyed taking a long, relaxing shower after a strenuous workout.
  • He preferred to shower in the morning to start his day feeling refreshed.
  • They shared the bathroom and took turns using the shower before heading to the beach.


sing icon

to produce musical sounds with the voice, often accompanied by melody and lyrics

Easy Examples

  • I love to sing my favorite songs.
  • Singers perform on stage and sing for the audience.
  • Singing makes me happy.

Harder Examples

  • She had a beautiful singing voice and performed in the school choir.
  • He sang a romantic song to serenade his partner under the starry night sky.
  • They gathered around the campfire to sing songs and share stories.


sleep icon

to rest and rejuvenate by resting in a state of unconsciousness, typically at night

Easy Examples

  • I need to sleep at night to rest.
  • Babies sleep a lot during the day.
  • Good sleep is important for health.

Harder Examples

  • She had trouble falling asleep due to the noisy neighbors.
  • He cherished a good night's sleep after a tiring day of hiking in the mountains.
  • They decided to take a short nap to recharge their energy for the evening.


stop icon

to cease or discontinue an action or movement, coming to a halt

Easy Examples

  • Stop! Don't go any further.
  • Cars stop at red traffic lights.
  • Please stop talking during the movie.

Harder Examples

  • She signaled the driver to stop the bus so she could get off at her destination.
  • He paused to admire the sunset and watch as the world seemed to stop for a moment.
  • They realized they needed to stop arguing and find a compromise.


study icon

to engage in learning, research, or reading to acquire knowledge or prepare for an examination

Easy Examples

  • I study for my exams in the library.
  • Students study to learn new things.
  • Studying takes concentration and effort.

Harder Examples

  • She spent hours in the library to study for her final exams.
  • He studied various species of birds and became an expert ornithologist.
  • They formed a study group to review the complex material for their science project.


sweep icon

to clean a surface by using a broom or brush to remove dust, dirt, or debris

Easy Examples

  • I sweep the floor to keep it clean.
  • Brooms are used to sweep up dirt and dust.
  • Sweeping can be a chore, but it's necessary.

Harder Examples

  • She decided to sweep the porch to keep it tidy and welcoming.
  • He swept the kitchen floor after accidentally spilling flour while baking.
  • They took turns sweeping the fallen leaves in the backyard during autumn.


throw icon

to propel an object through the air using force, typically with the intention of reaching a specific target

Easy Examples

  • I can throw a ball really far.
  • Athletes throw javelins and discuses in sports.
  • Don't litter; always throw trash in the bin.

Harder Examples

  • She practiced her throwing skills by tossing a frisbee with friends at the park.
  • He threw a baseball to his little brother, teaching him how to catch it.
  • They decided to throw a surprise party for their friend's birthday.


use icon

to employ or make use of something for a particular purpose or function

Easy Examples

  • I use a computer for work.
  • People use phones to communicate.
  • Using tools makes tasks easier.

Harder Examples

  • She knew how to use various tools to complete home improvement projects.
  • He used his creativity to repurpose old materials into functional art pieces.
  • They learned how to use a new software program for their work.


vomit icon

to expel the contents of one's stomach through the mouth, often as a result of illness or nausea

Easy Examples

  • Sometimes people vomit when they're sick.
  • It's important to cover your mouth when you vomit.
  • Feeling nauseous can lead to vomiting.

Harder Examples

  • She felt queasy after the turbulent plane ride and had to vomit in the restroom.
  • He provided comfort to his friend who was feeling unwell and about to vomit.
  • They called the doctor when their child couldn't stop vomiting.


wake icon

to rouse from sleep or a state of unconsciousness, often by external stimuli or an alarm

Easy Examples

  • I wake up early in the morning.
  • An alarm clock can help you wake up on time.
  • Waking up to birdsong is nice.

Harder Examples

  • She set multiple alarms to ensure she would wake up on time for the early flight.
  • He woke to the soothing sounds of birdsong outside his window.
  • They woke each other up with breakfast in bed on their anniversary.


walk icon

to move on foot at a slower pace than running, often for leisure, exercise, or transportation

Easy Examples

  • I like to walk in the park.
  • People walk their dogs in the neighborhood.
  • Walking is good exercise.

Harder Examples

  • She took her dog for a walk in the neighborhood park every morning.
  • He walked along the beach, collecting seashells as he went.
  • They decided to walk instead of drive to reduce their carbon footprint.

wash up

wash up icon

to clean one's hands or body, typically before eating or after engaging in dirty activities

Easy Examples

  • I wash up before dinner.
  • Dishes need to be washed up after a meal.
  • Washing up is part of keeping things clean.

Harder Examples

  • She always reminded her children to wash up before dinner.
  • He washed up in the river after a day of hiking in the wilderness.
  • They rushed to wash up after playing in the mud during a rainstorm.


wash icon

to clean something, often using water, soap, and other cleaning agents

Easy Examples

  • I wash my hands before eating.
  • Cars need to be washed to look nice.
  • Washing removes dirt and germs.

Harder Examples

  • She washed the dishes after a delicious homemade meal.
  • He carefully washed his car, making it shine in the sunlight.
  • They decided to wash the windows to improve the view from their home.


wear icon

to put on clothing, accessories, or items as a form of dressing or adornment

Easy Examples

  • I like to wear comfortable clothes.
  • People wear different outfits for different occasions.
  • Wearing a helmet while biking is important for safety.

Harder Examples

  • She chose to wear a colorful dress for the special occasion.
  • He wore a warm coat and hat to stay comfortable in the cold winter weather.
  • They dressed up as their favorite characters to attend a costume party.


work icon

to engage in labor or activities that require effort to achieve a specific goal or produce results

Easy Examples

  • I work at an office from 9 to 5.
  • Many people work to earn a living.
  • Hard work can lead to success.

Harder Examples

  • She worked tirelessly on her research project to meet the deadline.
  • He found satisfaction in the craftsmanship of his woodwork projects.
  • They decided to work together to build a community garden.


worry icon

to experience anxiety, concern, or fear about a possible future event or outcome

Easy Examples

  • I worry about my loved ones.
  • Worrying too much can cause stress.
  • Don't worry; everything will be fine.

Harder Examples

  • She couldn't help but worry about her daughter's safety when she went on a solo trip.
  • He tried not to worry too much about the upcoming job interview, focusing on preparation instead.
  • They comforted their friend, assuring them there was no need to worry about the minor setback.


write icon

to create written content or marks on a surface, often using a pen, pencil, or keyboard

Easy Examples

  • I like to write stories in my free time.
  • Writers write books, articles, and poems.
  • Writing is a creative form of expression.

Harder Examples

  • She loved to write poetry and often shared her verses with friends.
  • He wrote a heartfelt letter to express his gratitude and feelings of love.
  • They decided to write a book together, combining their writing talents.


answer icon

to respond to a question, request, or inquiry with a suitable reply

Easy Examples

  • I can answer your question.
  • Teachers ask questions, and students answer them.
  • Getting the right answer feels good.

Harder Examples

  • She was quick to answer when her teacher asked a challenging math question.
  • He answered all the interview questions confidently, showcasing his knowledge and skills.
  • They answered the phone to hear exciting news from a distant relative.


ask icon

to pose a question or request information, clarification, or assistance from someone

Easy Examples

  • I'll ask for directions if I'm lost.
  • Children often ask a lot of questions.
  • It's okay to ask for help when needed.

Harder Examples

  • She decided to ask her neighbor for advice on gardening techniques.
  • He asked his friend to accompany him on a hiking trip to the mountains.
  • They asked the teacher for extra help with a difficult assignment.


bounce icon

to rebound off a surface after impact or to move up and down in a lively or energetic manner

Easy Examples

  • Balls bounce when you throw them on the ground.
  • Children love to bounce on trampolines.
  • Bouncing can be fun and energetic.

Harder Examples

  • She watched as the basketball bounced on the court before landing in the hoop.
  • He bounced the ball to his dog, encouraging it to play fetch.
  • They couldn't help but bounce with excitement when they received the good news.


brush icon

to clean or groom something, often using a brush or similar tool

Easy Examples

  • I brush my teeth twice a day.
  • People brush their hair to keep it neat.
  • Brushing helps maintain personal hygiene.

Harder Examples

  • She brushed her long hair to keep it free from tangles and knots.
  • He brushed the dust off an old book he found in the attic.
  • They decided to brush their dog's fur to remove loose hair and keep it shiny.


carry icon

to transport or support the weight of an object or someone, often by holding or bearing it

Easy Examples

  • I carry my backpack to school.
  • Workers carry heavy loads in construction.
  • Carrying groceries home is common.

Harder Examples

  • She offered to carry the heavy grocery bags to the car.
  • He carried his younger sibling on his shoulders during a family hike.
  • They carefully carried the fragile vase to a safe location to prevent it from breaking.


catch icon

to intercept and seize an object or someone in motion, often with one's hands or a receptacle

Easy Examples

  • I can catch a ball with my hands.
  • People catch buses and trains to get around.
  • Catching a fish can be exciting.

Harder Examples

  • She managed to catch the falling keys before they hit the ground.
  • He caught a baseball thrown to him with impressive agility.
  • They tried to catch fireflies in a jar during a warm summer evening.


celebrate icon

to observe and enjoy a special occasion or event with festivities and joyous activities

Easy Examples

  • We celebrate birthdays with cake and gifts.
  • People celebrate holidays and traditions.
  • Celebrating achievements is important.

Harder Examples

  • She celebrated her birthday with a grand party and invited all her friends.
  • He celebrated his team's victory by going out for dinner with his teammates.
  • They decided to celebrate their anniversary by taking a romantic getaway.


cook icon

to prepare food by combining ingredients and using heat, often for consumption

Easy Examples

  • I like to cook meals for my family.
  • Chefs cook delicious food at restaurants.
  • Cooking can be a creative and enjoyable activity.

Harder Examples

  • She loved to cook homemade meals, experimenting with various recipes.
  • He cooked a delicious dinner for his family, showcasing his culinary skills.
  • They cooked a pot of chili to share with their neighbors during a neighborhood gathering.


cry icon

to shed tears as a physical expression of strong emotions such as sadness, grief, or joy

Easy Examples

  • Sometimes we cry when we're sad.
  • Babies cry to communicate their needs.
  • Crying can be a way to release emotions.

Harder Examples

  • She couldn't help but cry tears of happiness when she received a surprise gift from her loved ones.
  • He cried during a touching movie scene that resonated with him emotionally.
  • They cried together, finding comfort in each other's support during a difficult time.


dance icon

to move rhythmically and gracefully to music, often in a social or performance setting

Easy Examples

  • I love to dance to my favorite songs.
  • Dancers perform on stage and entertain audiences.
  • Dancing can be a form of self-expression.

Harder Examples

  • She danced with elegance and grace at the ballet recital, captivating the audience.
  • He loved to dance to his favorite songs, letting the music guide his movements.
  • They decided to dance the night away at the wedding reception, celebrating with friends and family.


eat icon

to consume food by chewing and swallowing it as a means of nourishment

Easy Examples

  • I eat three meals a day.
  • People eat a variety of foods for nourishment.
  • Eating together is a social activity.

Harder Examples

  • She enjoyed going to her favorite restaurant to eat delicious dishes.
  • He ate a healthy breakfast to start the day with energy and vitality.
  • They decided to eat a picnic lunch in the park, savoring sandwiches and fruit.


explore icon

to investigate or travel in search of new places, ideas, or experiences

Easy Examples

  • I like to explore new places and discover things.
  • Explorers travel to unknown lands to learn and document.
  • Exploring can lead to exciting discoveries.

Harder Examples

  • She wanted to explore different cultures and customs by traveling the world.
  • He explored the forest, discovering hidden trails and natural wonders.
  • They decided to explore the possibilities of starting their own business.


fear icon

to experience a feeling of dread, anxiety, or apprehension in response to a perceived threat or danger

Easy Examples

  • Sometimes we fear things that are unknown.
  • Fear can be a natural response to danger.
  • Facing your fears can be empowering.

Harder Examples

  • She feared heights and couldn't bring herself to go on a roller coaster.
  • He feared the unknown and felt nervous about the upcoming job interview.
  • They comforted their child, who had a fear of the dark and slept with a nightlight.


fight icon

to engage in a physical or verbal conflict with the intention of defending oneself or one's beliefs

Easy Examples

  • We should not fight with our friends.
  • Boxers fight in the ring as a sport.
  • Fighting can lead to conflicts and hurt feelings.

Harder Examples

  • She decided to fight for equal rights and participated in peaceful protests.
  • He fought off a group of bullies who were harassing his younger sibling.
  • They resolved to fight fair and communicate openly to resolve their disagreements.


hate icon

to feel intense and strong aversion, dislike, or hostility toward someone or something

Easy Examples

  • Hate is a strong and negative feeling.
  • It's not good to hate anyone.
  • Love is the opposite of hate.

Harder Examples

  • She hated the taste of mushrooms and refused to eat them in any dish.
  • He hated when people lied and believed in honesty and transparency.
  • They discussed their differences openly, trying to bridge the gap of hate and misunderstanding.


hear icon

to perceive sounds through the ears and auditory system, often in response to external stimuli

Easy Examples

  • I can hear music playing.
  • Our ears allow us to hear sounds.
  • Listening is an important part of hearing.

Harder Examples

  • She could hear the birds singing outside her window early in the morning.
  • He heard a faint noise coming from the attic and decided to investigate.
  • They listened attentively to their friend's heartfelt story, offering support and understanding.


hold icon

to grasp or secure something with one's hand or arms, often to carry or support it

Easy Examples

  • I can hold your hand.
  • People hold onto things so they don't drop them.
  • Holding can show care and support.

Harder Examples

  • She held a bouquet of flowers as she walked down the aisle on her wedding day.
  • He held his child's hand tightly while crossing the busy street.
  • They held a meeting to discuss important matters and make decisions together.


jump icon

to propel oneself into the air by pushing off a surface with one's feet, often for fun or exercise

Easy Examples

  • I can jump over a small obstacle.
  • Athletes in the Olympics jump high and far.
  • Jumping is a fun way to exercise.

Harder Examples

  • She jumped over a puddle to avoid getting her shoes wet.
  • He loved to jump on the trampoline and perform acrobatic moves.
  • They jumped with excitement when they received the news of their promotion.


laugh icon

to express amusement, joy, or happiness by producing a sound with one's voice

Easy Examples

  • I laugh when something is funny.
  • Laughter is contagious and brings joy.
  • Laughing with friends is the best.

Harder Examples

  • She laughed heartily at her friend's humorous jokes, tears rolling down her cheeks.
  • He laughed at the funny antics of his playful puppy, capturing the moment on camera.
  • They laughed together, reminiscing about the lighthearted moments they had shared.


lie icon

to recline or rest in a horizontal position, often on a surface or bed

Easy Examples

  • I lie down when I'm tired.
  • Sometimes people tell lies, but it's not honest.
  • Lying can lead to trust issues.

Harder Examples

  • She liked to lie on the grass and gaze at the clouds on lazy summer afternoons.
  • He lied down for a quick nap to recharge his energy before the evening event.
  • They decided to lie on the beach and soak up the sun's warmth during their vacation.


like icon

to have a positive or favorable opinion of someone or something

Easy Examples

  • I like ice cream on a hot day.
  • People like different things and have their preferences.
  • Liking something makes you happy.

Harder Examples

  • She liked the taste of chocolate ice cream and often indulged in it.
  • He liked the idea of volunteering to help those in need in his community.
  • They both liked the same book and decided to start a book club together.


listen icon

to pay attention and actively process auditory information, often in conversations or while hearing sounds

Easy Examples

  • I listen to music in my free time.
  • Active listening is an important communication skill.
  • Listening to others helps build relationships.

Harder Examples

  • She listened intently to her friend's heartfelt confession, offering support and understanding.
  • He listened to the soothing sounds of nature while meditating in the peaceful forest.
  • They decided to listen to their favorite music as they drove through scenic landscapes on a road trip.


love icon

to have a deep affection, care, or fondness for someone or something

Easy Examples

  • I love spending time with my family.
  • Love is a strong and positive emotion.
  • Loving someone is special.

Harder Examples

  • She loved spending quality time with her family, cherishing their moments together.
  • He loved animals and adopted a rescue dog from the local shelter.
  • They loved each other deeply and shared their dreams and aspirations.


miss icon

to feel a sense of loss or longing for someone or something that is absent or no longer present

Easy Examples

  • I miss my friends when they're not around.
  • Missing someone means you want to see them.
  • A hug can make you miss someone less.

Harder Examples

  • She missed her childhood friends and wished to reconnect with them.
  • He missed the opportunity to attend the concert due to a last-minute commitment.
  • They missed the taste of home-cooked meals while traveling abroad.


paint icon

to create art or designs on a surface using brushes, pigments, or other artistic tools

Easy Examples

  • I like to paint with watercolors.
  • Artists paint beautiful pictures on canvas.
  • Painting allows for creative expression.

Harder Examples

  • She painted a vibrant landscape that captured the beauty of the countryside.
  • He painted the walls of his room in soothing colors to create a peaceful atmosphere.
  • They decided to paint a mural together to beautify their community park.


play icon

to engage in activities for enjoyment, recreation, or amusement, often involving games or toys

Easy Examples

  • I play with my toys in the afternoon.
  • Children play games with their friends.
  • Playing is fun and helps with learning.

Harder Examples

  • She loved to play board games with her family during cozy evenings at home.
  • He played the piano skillfully, entertaining the audience with his music.
  • They played a friendly game of soccer with their neighbors in the local park.


read icon

to peruse written or printed material, such as books, magazines, or articles, to obtain information or entertainment

Easy Examples

  • I like to read books before bedtime.
  • People read newspapers to get information.
  • Reading opens up new worlds and ideas.

Harder Examples

  • She enjoyed reading mystery novels and often lost track of time immersed in a good book.
  • He read about historical events to expand his knowledge of the past.
  • They decided to read poetry aloud and discuss its meanings and interpretations.


recycle icon

to collect and process materials or items to be reused or repurposed to reduce waste

Easy Examples

  • I recycle bottles and paper to help the environment.
  • Recycling reduces waste and conserves resources.
  • Recycling bins are located in many places.

Harder Examples

  • She recycled paper, cardboard, and plastic to minimize her environmental impact.
  • He participated in a community recycling program to promote sustainability.
  • They recycled old electronics and appliances to prevent them from ending up in a landfill.
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