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Action Verbs with Hand Movements (Let's Talk) (India)
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Our hands are the most important part of our body. You use them for almost everything. In this English lesson you will learn 10 different verbs to talk about our hand movements. Since we use our hands for almost everything try to use these verbs to talk about your hand movements as well.

Hello everyone thanks for clicking. Well, in today's lesson, we are gonna talk about hand movements. Now the most important part of our body, our hands. There are so many things that we can do with our hands, but usually when people talk about doing or using their hands. The only verbs that they tend to use is, Hold, Pick or Touch. But there are so many things that you can do with your hands, so in this lesson today, we are gonna look at verbs to talk about your hand movements.

So It's not just touching, holding or picking. There are some more ten verbs that you can use. So let's get started.

The first verb, Wave.

That's how you wave your hand. So with a open hand you know, when you move your hand or your hands in the air either to say, Hello or Hi or even say Bye or even to grab someone's attention, you know you do this, you wave your hands. So when you do this with your open hand moving your hands or your hand in the air, that's waving. So that's the verb that you can use, when you do this.

Let's have a look at another verb which is, Stroke or even the verb Pet has the same meaning, so what exactly it means?

Well, with a open hand, when you take like long movements, It's like long hand movements, either on someone's skin or on someone's hair, you know when your'e trying to love someone or maybe you are petting an animal and animal fur, you know you tend to do this, so It's a very loving gesture and the exact verb that you do use, when you are doing this is stroking or petting, like I'm petting a dog. So these are like long hand movements, slow long hand movements. So your'e not gonna say that I am touching a dog or I am touching a baby. Well your'e gonna say, I am stroking a baby or your'e petting a dog. When you use the word pet, It's usually for animals, your'e petting your cat, your'e petting your dog. So It's a very loving gesture and these are like long hand movements.

Next one, Tickle.

So tickle is when you prod or you use your fingertips or your fingers to make someone laugh. So you touch them lightly or you poke them with your finger, so either It's tickle or poke. Poking is using just one finger, like touch someone and that's just to make them laugh or even to make them a little dis comfortable. So that's tickling or poking. You do that with your fingers, so your'e not gonna say, I touched him. Your'e gonna say, I tickled him or I poked him. So touching lightly to make someone laugh.

Another verb that you can use is, Pat.

Now pat is again, when you use your open hand and you just move back and forth and these are very, It's a very light touch. Like especially when you are putting a baby to sleep, you know you do that lovingly. You just keep pushing your hand back and forth, It's a very light touch, your'e not actually hitting someone, but you’re patting that person. Another way that you can use this verb is when your'e very proud of someone and you know you pat their back, your'e like, Oh I am so proud of you. So with your open hand, but it's a very gentle touch, then that is also patting. You pat someone's back.

The next verb that I have for you is Slap.

Now when do you slap someone and what is slapping? Well, with a open hand again, you hit someone on their face, that's slapping. So if you are upset with someone and your'e angry and you just wanna get it out. Then your'e gonna slap someone, so your'e not gonna say, I touched him or I hit him. The better verb to use in English is, I slapped him, so when your'e angry or upset with someone, you tend to use your open hand to hit that person on their face.

Alright let's have a look at another verb here, which is, Punch.

So you close your hand, you make a fist and you use your fist to punch someone. I wanna punch his face, If your'e angry with someone, your'e gonna punch his face. So punch is a verb, which is used to hit someone with a closed hand, with your fist. Now you can also use it as a gesture, like when you win something. Like you win a game and your'e really excited, so your'e like punch in the air, so your'e not punching someone or something, but you just punch in the air to describe or just to show your excitement. So punching is moving your fist, so either I'ts moving your fist to hit someone or just using your fist to hit someone.

Next verb that I have for you is, Scratch.

So when do you scratch? When you are very uncomfortable and you have this itchy feeling, you tend to scratch. You use your finger nails or you use your finger tips to scratch your skin, so If a mosquito bites you, your'e gonna scratch. So rather then just saying, Oh I'm just touching my skin or using different words. The perfect verb that you can use is, Scratching. I am scratching my skin, because of the insect bite, so that's scratching . So you are using your finger nails or your fingertips, when you feel a little itchy and you tend to scratch.

Another verb that I have for you is, Grab. So rather then saying, I am gonna pick up that Sandwich. A better verb is, I'm gonna grab that sandwich. So your'e hungry, you go to a store, where you can grab something to eat, so use the verb grab. Rather than saying pick up. I'm gonna say, I'm gonna grab that sandwich. Could you please grab that bag for me, so the exact meaning of grab is picking up something. So when you tend to pick up something, of course using your wonderful hands. The verb that you can use is, Grab.

The next one Snap.

That's snapping, so when you rub your middle finger to your thumb or against your thumb, that's snapping. You create a sound, you use snapping. It's also called as clicking to click. So in some countries, It's called a snap or in some countries, It's called as click. So when do you do that? When you want someone to hurry up, your'e like you need to do that fast. So you snap or just to make a sound, you snap your fingers. So the correct verb, when you do so is snapping or clicking.

And then the last verb, that I have for you is, Fiddle.

Now fiddle has two meanings. The first one is, when you play a Violin, so when you play a violin, that's actually called as fiddling and another verb that another meaning to this verb is, you know you tend to touch something every now and then without any specific reason. Like there's no purpose of touching, but you tend to touch something or the other. It's because of lack of concentration, like you are sitting in a meeting and you keep doing this, so you keep touching your hair, so rather then saying, Like I'm touching my hair or you are touching your hair. The correct verb that you can use in English is that your'e fiddling with your hair or you keep fiddling with your cheek, you keep fiddling with your eyes, you keep fiddling with your ears. So you constantly and unconsciously touching your body parts or touching something or the other, without any specific reason. That's fiddling, so to fiddle touching something without any reason.

So this brings me to the end of this lesson. These are ten common verbs that you can use to talk about different hand movements. Keep using them just the way you use your hands and I'll be back with a new lesson. Till then you take care.


When you move your hand or hands to either say hi, bye or just to attract someone's attention you tend to wave.
Example - I waved at him in the traffic today.

Stroke / Pet

Using long hand movements in a loving way is stroking or petting. Use PET for animals and STROKE for people. In some places you can use STROKE for animals too, but to be on the safe side avoid that, since it could hint sexual content for many speakers.
Example - She stroked the baby and petted the puppy at the same time.


When you lightly touch someone to make someone laugh or prod someone that cause discomfort is tickling.
Example - I tickled him under the chin.


Touch someone lightly with an open hand.
Example - I gently pat the baby while he was sleepy.


When you use your open hand to hit someone.
Example - I slapped the mosquito.


When you use your close hand (fist) to hit someone or something. You also punch to show victory.
Example - John punched James face this morning.


When you are itchy you use your finger nails or finger tips to scratch.
Example - She scratched the insect bite.


Using your hand to pick something quickly.
Example - I grabbed a sandwich on my way back home.

Snap / Click

Making a sound with your finger by rubbing your index finger against your thumb.
Example - I don't like the sound of snapping.


To constantly touch something unconsciously without any particular reason.
Example - She fiddled with her hair throughout the meeting this morning.

© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || InfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAbout
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