English has a very rich vocabulary, and often uses different verbs for the same action to show the mood or attitude of the person doing the action. For example look at Tara here. What is she doing? She is bending. Bending is when you keep your legs fairly straight and lower your upper body towards the ground. But now what is she doing? It is almost the same action, but because this action is done to show great respect, we call it 'bowing'. If Tara bends her legs as well, we use a different word again. Now we say she is crouching. We crouch when there is not a lot of room available, or when we want to hide behind something low.
If Tara wants to sit, but she has nothing to sit on, she can crouch even lower so that she is sitting on her heels. When you bend your legs but keep your back straight we call this 'squatting'. If you put your knees on the ground but keep your back straight, this is called 'kneeling'. Tara's favourite way of sitting is to spread herself out all over the armchair. Now that is sprawling.
If we just bend our heads and shoulders - for example so that we do not hit our heads in a low ceiling, we are stooping. Like this. On the other hand if a person is walking in this way simply because they cannot be bothered to stand straight, we say they are 'slouching'. If you walk in a very bouncy way because you are happy (maybe because it is a lovely day and you are at the beach) this lively walk is called 'skipping'. A slow, relaxed walk is called 'strolling' or 'sauntering'.
Now look at Tara. She is walking quickly and determinedly, and taking long steps. This kind of walk is called a 'stride'. If Tara is striding because she is angry or because she is off to do something, we would say that she is 'marching'.
Tara can go even faster. This is her running, but running rather slowly. This is called 'trotting' if you do it for a short distance, but if you do it for some time (for example when you run for exercise), this is called 'jogging'. Do you want to see Tara run as fast as she can? Go on Tara, run fast! Now Tara is sprinting, but she can't do that for very long before she runs out of breath.
Poor Tara, she's so out of breath she can hardly stand. She's using this tree to take some of her weight. When we do this, it's called 'leaning'. So Tara is leaning on the tree. Thanks for helping us Tara. Maybe you should take a rest now!
Match the description of the movement with the appropriate word. Tap the right answer.
Look at the picture and choose the word which describes the movement you see.
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NEW Above, below, over and under
Watch, look and see
Make, and do
Speak, say and tell
Body language (the face)
Using a car and getting a taxi
Throwing a party
Showing strong emotions
In the gym
On the beach
Doing the housework
In the Restaurant
Hiking and camping
US and British English: Cars
US and British English: The home
Types of Movement
At the airport
At the grocery storee
In and inside/ on and off
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