English Verbs of Motion: How to Use Them

Bodhi Ramosreviewed byNataliia Afonina / more about Editorial Process11 min
Created: Feb 1, 2023Last updated: Jan 17, 2024
English Verbs of Motion

Everyone knows that movement is life. But not everyone knows that there are hundreds and hundreds of verbs of motion in English. Of course, it is pretty hard to remember them all. But today, we will tell you everything you might need about this topic. You will review the familiar verbs and learn the new ones, explore the difference between state and motion verbs, and much more. So without further ado, let’s start our active discussion!

What are verbs of movement?

If you read the Promova blog regularly, you already know what the verbs are in general. If not, we will remind you – these are the words used to describe one’s actions, feelings, or experiences. But what are the movement words? Firstly, we need to understand the definition of movement. 

Cambridge Dictionary defines it simply as a change of position. In layman’s terms, movement is the process of moving something (for example, your body or a part of your body). Motion is a synonym for the word movement and describes the same process. Therefore, motion or movement verbs are those that we use to describe a particular action (to go, to walk, to crawl, to move, etc.). 

Motion verbs vs. state verbs – what is the difference?

Verbs for movement are one of two main types of verbs in English grammar. They can also be called verbs of action. But there is another kind – state verbs. So what is the difference between them? As you already know, motion verbs are the ones that describe an action of any kind. State verbs, on the other hand, describe a state of one’s mind, feeling, or emotion. Here are the main types of state verbs:

  • verbs of emotion – describe the emotional condition (e.g., to love, to adore, to envy);
  • verbs of mental state – describe the cognitional state (e.g., to think, to believe, to remember);
  • verbs of possession – describe a possession state (e.g., to have, to own, to belong); 
  • verbs of senses – describe the feeling we get through one of the five senses (e.g., to see, to smell, to taste). 

Basically, the difference between moving verbs and state verbs is that the first ones describe a dynamic process, while the second ones describe more of a mental state. But sometimes, the verb can be both motion and state, depending on the context. So what should you do in such circumstances? Let’s find out together. 

What verbs can be stative and motion at the same time?

Depending on the context, the same verb can describe both action and state of mind. It is important to understand when to use the proper form of such words. And that is what we are going to tell you right now. Let’s look at some verbs that can be stative and motion.

  • To think. When you say this verb to describe your opinion (e.g., I think this music is great), it becomes a stative verb. But when you use it when talking about processing something in your mind, it will be one of the verbs for movement (e.g., I am thinking about you right now).
  • To smell. If we use it to describe the scent of something, it is stative (These flowers smell amazing), but when we explain the process of sensing the aroma through your nose, it is a motion verb (Stop smelling my sandwich!).
  • To be. When we discuss the state of being, this is the stative verb (My friends are nice), but when we discuss one’s behavior at a particular period, it is the action verb (He is being rude).

Many more verbs can be both dynamic and state. The best way to understand whether a verb is for movement or for cognition is to see if you can use it in the Present Continuous form. If the answer is yes, it is probably the word of action (I’m running) or the verb that can be both (I’m thinking about pizza). Stative verbs can’t be used in the continuous tense (I love my mother, not I’m loving my mother).

Main types of action verbs

Even though there are thousands of verbs that move, there are only two types of them. They are classified as transitive and intransitive. And to easily understand the difference between such verbs, we need to find out the definitions of both. 

  1. Transitive verbs, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, are words of action that require a direct object that receives the action of the verb. For example, in the sentence “Mike jumped over the fence,” the verb “jump” is transitive, and the fence is the object. 
  2. Intransitive verbs, on the other hand, can exist without any object, and adding any object to them mostly doesn’t make any sense. For example, in “The noise made me jump,” the verb “jump” is intransitive. And if you add the object to this sentence (e.g., The noise made me jump a fence), you won’t be satisfied with the result. 

Some motion verbs can also be used as transitive and intransitive ones. So the point is simple – always pay attention to the context, and you will easily determine the type of the verb. And now, to make this topic as simple for you as possible, we will provide you with the extensive verbs of motion in English. 


A comprehensive motion words list and examples

As you can see, there are hundreds of English verbs of motion that you already know. They can be simple or unusual. And today, we will discuss both! Let’s look at our comprehensive movement verbs list to expand your vocabulary and learn something new. 

  • To walk. 

This is one of the most common motion verbs. When you walk, you just casually go forward by putting one foot in front of the other. Here are some examples of using this word in sentences: 

I was walking through the park when I saw a dog.

I like to walk.

I’ve been walking for two hours. 

  • To stagger. 

This verb is a synonym for the previous one. But if you walk, you do it casually, and when you stagger, you walk unsteadily. For example:

He was so drunk that he staggered and lost his balance twice. 

She didn’t feel well, so she staggered home. 

She was staggering, so she needed to find a foothold to avoid falling. 

  • To dance.

When you dance, you move your body following a particular rhythm, especially music. For example:

I want to dance with her sometimes. 

Kate dances like an experienced professional.

Jake was dancing with Vicky when the music stopped. 

  • To run. 

The verb run defines a faster way of walking. Usually, people run when they hurry somewhere or when they exercise. For example:

Max was running to catch the bus. 

I like to run in the rain. 

Sorry, I need to run! See you tomorrow. 

  • To ride. 

When you ride something (e.g., a horse, a bike, or a motorcycle), you sit on top of it and control it. For example: 

I saw Jane riding a horse yesterday.

My favorite hobby is riding a motorbike. 

Our boss likes to get to work riding a bike. 

  • To crawl.

Fans of Arctic Monkeys and their famous song “Do I Wanna Know?” are already familiar with this verb. But what does it mean? In layman’s terms, it means to move really slowly on your hands and knees. For example:

I was crawling backwards when I was six months old. 

Crawling back to you.

Kate doesn’t like to walk with Emily – she is always crawling along. 

  • To dash. 

Do you know the quick way to learn the meaning of this verb? Just remember – people dash when they are in a rush. It means to run somewhere really fast because you are in a hurry. For example: 

I need to dash home – my friends are already there. 

I dashed out of the office and was home in less than ten minutes. 

Kate told me that she needs to dash. 

  • To jump. 

This verb describes a very sharp movement when you push yourself up into the air using your legs. It can also describe the process of moving really fast. For example: 

She jumped into the cab and asked the driver to follow her husband’s car. 

Little kids really like jumping everywhere. 

The loud sound made me jump. 

  • To hop. 

When the person hops, they usually jump, but only on one leg instead of two. When we use this verb to describe the movement of the small animal, it usually jumps on both of its feet. For example:

Carrie broke her leg last week, so now she is just hopping around the house and doesn’t go out much.

Look at this rabbit hopping in our backyard! 

I don’t like to hop, but I don’t have much choice – my leg still hurts.

  • To jog. 

This motion verb is used to describe the process of running. But when you jog, you usually run very slowly. This word is typically used when we talk about exercise. For example:

I really like sports – I jog in the morning and go to a gym in the evening. 

Do you know Kathy is in town? I saw her jogging yesterday near my house. 

Mike likes jogging, and I prefer yoga. 

  • To leap. 

And this is another way of jumping. The verb leap means to make a really big jump from one place to another. For example: 

The cat leaped over the fence. 

We all had to leap over the huge puddle. 

Jane leaped out of her car. 

  • To shuffle. 

Shuffle is another way of walking. But when you shuffle, you don’t lift your feet high, but instead, slowly pull them along the ground. For example: 

My grandmother is shuffling across the house, leaning on her walking stick. 

Her mother always told her to walk normally and not shuffle. 

Kate’s son likes to shuffle through the snow. 

  • To march. 

This verb describes not one but three different ways of walking. Firstly, to march means to walk with the same speed and movement as soldiers. Also, it means to walk really quickly because you are angry. Finally, it can mean the movement of a group of people as part of a public event. For example:

Thousands of people marched through the streets to protest against global warming. 

The army marched a hundred miles to get to the city. 

My boss marched to my office to find out the reasons for that horrible mistake.  
Verbs of Motion

How to learn verbs for movement with the Promova app?

Even though this topic is not very hard, it still might be challenging for unprepared students. In this case, it is important to find a place where you can seek help from professional tutors or choose other language-learning options. Luckily, we know the best place that can help you with it. 

Promova is a modern learning platform that accepts people from all over the world. You can master writing skills, practice speaking, expand your vocabulary, and much more with Promova. Here are the most popular options to choose from:

  1. Group and personal lessons. The most popular platform’s features are one-on-one or group lessons with professional teachers. You can study alone or join a group of up to six people with the same proficiency level as you to practice together. All you need to do is to pass a quick level test to determine your English level, and enjoy your classes!
  2. Speaking Club. For those whose goal is to practice speaking skills, Promova offers a convenient Speaking Club that you can join anytime you want. This option allows you to discuss numerous topics with people from all over the globe. And the best thing is that it is completely free. 
  3. Mobile app. Finally, we can’t forget to mention the convenient Promova application available for different devices. You can install it on your phone or tablet from the App Store or Google Play, and access hundreds of amazing topics, grammar rules, practice exercises, and much more. 

And, of course, we can’t forget about the Promova Blog (which you are reading right now). Here, you can find hundreds of unique articles on various topics. Go to the official Promova website, choose the option that suits you best, and enjoy your studying process. We can assure you that you will see the first results faster than you expect. 


We’re gonna tell it once again – movement is life. And knowing motion verbs in English is essential for all language learners. It not only expands your vocabulary but also allows you to freely express your thoughts and sound more like a native speaker. In this article, we’ve provided you with plenty of examples of dynamic verbs and examples of using them in sentences. And now, please tell us about your favorite activities in the comments, using the words from this article or any other motion verbs. We will be happy to see your examples!


What are motion verbs?

Motion verbs are words that describe the process of moving. There are two types of such verbs – transitive and intransitive. The first type is the words of action that require a particular object to receiving this action. Intransitive verbs don’t need any objects, and adding them usually looks strange. 

What is the difference between motion and stative verbs?

As we just said, motion verbs describe movement. Stative verbs, on the other hand, describe the state of mind (that’s why we call them state verbs sometimes). These are usually verbs of emotion (to love, to hate, to adore), verbs of mental state (to remember, to believe), verbs of possession (to own, to belong), and verbs of senses (to see, to taste).

Are there any verbs that can be stative and motion at the same time?

Yes, depending on the context, some verbs can be both dynamic and stative. For example, in the sentence “She has a brother” the verb have is stative – it describes possession. But the same word can also be dynamic. For example, “She’s having dinner with her brother tonight.” In this case, the verb have describes an active process, and it is considered the verb of action. 

What are the best examples of motion verbs in English?

There are thousands of motion verbs in the English language. Therefore, there are numerous examples. A dynamic verb is literally any verb that describes an active process. Here are some of the most popular examples: to go, to walk, to crawl, to run, to stagger, to creep, to ride, to sit, to dance. 


KIERAN PriceJan 16th, 2024
keep up the excellent work, and thank you for sharing such inspiring content
Titus YorkJul 25th, 2023
I've always struggled with using verbs of motion correctly, but this article has clarified many aspects for me. Thank you for the insightful explanations!