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Movement vocabulary

Average: 3.4 (19 votes)

There are many words to describe movement in English. Here are a few verbs ones to help you explain movement in a more interesting way.

There are 10 sentences and you should try and guess the correct verb in the correct tense from the ones in the box.

Tap to hit with repeated, gentle blows. "She tapped her pen on the table twice."

Tug to pull something using force. "The boy tugged his sister's hair and made her cry."

Roll to move somewhere by turning over and over. "The ball rolled off the table onto the floor."

Stroke to gently move your hand over the surface of something, usually more than once. "He stroked the dogs soft fur."

Slap to hit strongly with an open hand or something flat. "She slapped her naughty boy."

Clip a quick hit, usually on the edge of something. "I warn you, If you do that again I'll give you a clip round the head!"

Squeeze to press or hold something firmly. "He really squeezed my fingers when we shook hands. It hurt!"

Twist to turn something or wrap one thing around another "When she's nervous she twists her hair around her finger."

Spin to turn something around fast. "In the casino we placed a bet and watched the roulette wheel spin around and around."

Shake to move up and down or backwards and forwards quickly in short movements. "The winner shook the bottle of champagne before opening it."

Lesson by Jean, teacher at EC Cape Town English school

Now complete these sentences with the missing verbs:

  • 1. The bird made a gentle ___ on the window.

  • 2. The child ___ at his Mother’s skirt because he wanted an ice-cream.

  • 3. My Mother used to ___ her hair up into a bun.

  • 4. We ___ down the hill on our skateboards.

  • 5. The husband ___ his wife so hard because he hadn’t seen her in so long.

  • 6. The barman is ___ your cocktail.

  • 7. The Earth ___ on its axis.

  • 8. My Father ___ me on the ear when I swore.

  • 9. It is illegal to ___ your child in the U.S.A.

  • 10. If you ___ a cat it usually purrs.