Actions verbs can describes two different kinds of movement: that of the physical kind, which involves movement that can be seen; and that of the mental kind, which describes movement that cannot be seen.
To test our understanding of this concept, let us consider which of the following words are mental action verbs and which are physical action verbs:
Which of these words, when used as action verbs, can be seen? Which of these words, when used as action verbs, cannot be seen? Let's consider them in complete sentences:
- Laurie thinks about ice cream. (mental verb)
- Dante dreams that he will be a doctor one day. (mental verb)
- Robert dances the tango every Friday night. (physical verb)
- Alexandra climbs mountains for fun. (physical verb)
- Josephina imagines that she is a pirate. (mental verb)
We cannot see Laurie think about ice cream, Dante dream about his future career, or Josephina imagine swashbuckling on the high seas; however, they are all still performing mental actions. We can, on the other hand, see Robert dancing and Alexandra climbing mountains.