English Verbs of Body Movement
Here are 25 verbs which describe the movements you can make with your body.
wink = when you close one eye quickly (often when you want to show you're saying something untrue or funny)
"He winked at her and she knew that he was only joking."
blink = when you close both eyes quickly (often if the light is too bright)
"He took off his glasses and blinked in the strong sunlight."
smile = make your mouth wide to show friendliness or because you find something funny
"She smiled at his joke."
bite (bite / bit / bitten) = use your teeth to break something
"She bit into the apple."
kiss = put your lips together and push them out against someone else's skin / lips (as a sign of love or affection)
"She kissed her aunt on her cheek."
swallow = make something (like food) go down your throat
"Drink some water to help you swallow the aspirin."
sip = drink very small amounts at a time
"He sipped his coffee as it was very hot."
lick = use your tongue (to eat something)
"The cat licked its paws."
blow (blow / blew / blown) = make air come out of your mouth
"She blew on her fingers to try to keep them warm."
whistle = put your lips together and make a tune as you blow out air
"He always whistles when he's concentrating on something."
hum = sing (but without the words) with your mouth closed
"He hummed a little song as he drove to work."
Hands / Fingers
wave = when you move your hand (or hands) in the air to attract attention or to say goodbye
"I'm over here!" she cried, as she waved her hands in the air.
stroke = use long movements of your hand down someone's skin (or an animal's fur)
"She stroked the cat as it sat on her lap."
tickle = lightly touch someone to make them laugh (because their skin is sensitive)
"She tickled the baby's feet."
pat = touch someone or something lightly with your open hand
"She patted the child gently on his arm and told him not to worry."
slap = use your open hand to hit someone or something
"He slapped at the mosquitoes."
punch = use your closed hand (fist) to hit someone or something
"When he won the match he punched his fist into the air in victory."
rip = tear something using both hands
"He read the letter then ripped it up."
scratch = use your nails on something
"He scratched the insect bite on his arm."
grab = take something quickly with your hand
"There was only one sandwich left on the plate and she grabbed it before her brother could get it."
flick = move something small away from you using your thumb and middle finger
"She flicked away the bug which was moving towards her."
Legs and feet
tap = move your feet to the beat of music
"He tapped his feet as he listened to the dance music."
kick = use your feet to make something move
"The little boy kicked the stones at his feet."
limp = walk with difficulty because your leg or foot is injured
"He fell off his bicycle and limped home."
paddle = walk in the sea with bare feet (but still wearing trousers, etc)
"The water was too cold for swimming, so they just paddled in the sea for a few minutes."
Body Movement Quiz
Choose the correct answer.
- It can look aggressive if you point at people.
- You yawn if you're tired (or bored) and you open your mouth wide and take a big breath.
- When you stare, you look at someone for a long time with concentration (without closing your eyes at all). If you blink, you close your eyes quickly and repeatedly, as if the light is too strong.
- You sneeze when you have a cold or a reaction to something (like dust, pollen or certain smells.) Your eyes close and you expel air through your nose or mouth. When someone sneezes we say ''Bless you!''
- You cough when you have a cold, to loosen your chest and make it easier to breathe. When you whisper you talk very quietly to another person, perhaps because you are telling a secret, or because you don't want to disturb other people by talking loudly.
- You hiccup (pronunciation ''hick-up'') when you don't swallow food or drink properly. You breathe in air down your throat and it makes a noise. You burp when air comes back up after you eat or drink. It's considered rude to burp, so we try not to do it (or apologise if it happens).
- When you stroke an animal's fur, you move your hand over it softly. If you brush it, you use a wooden or plastic brush to make it softer or straighter.
- If you choke, a piece of food gets stuck in your throat - and it can be dangerous. If you hum, you put your lips together and sing a song or a tune (without words).
- You scratch something with your finger nails because it's itchy and uncomfortable. You slap something with your open hand.
- You limp when you have an injury to your leg or foot which makes walking difficult. You hop when you jump from one place to another on one leg.