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action verbs

Action verbs are the most common type of verb. In a sentence with an action verb, the subject does (or did, or will do) something.

The action taken by the subject often involves visible motion: 

  • Martina danced the night away.
  • The horse jumped over the fence and galloped toward us.
  • When I threw the ball, it fell into the creek.

But some action verbs (called “mental action” verbs) express mental activity rather than physical motion: 

  • I think you will enjoy the book.
  • Rudi wants to borrow your ski poles.
  • The Steins plan to travel to Hawaii this summer.
  • Liette likes to talk about her grandchildren; she loves it when they visit. 

Sentences with action verbs can be very short, because they may contain only a subject and a verb:

  • Jean-Marc hiccupped.

In the case of a command, the sentence may consist solely of an action verb, with the subject you understood:

  • Run!