You are here

Glossary of action verbs

This glossary proposes harmonised multilingual terminology to facilitate the drawing up and translation of Certificate Supplements. Projects implemented in several Member States show that it is possible to describe the main competences linked to specific job profiles, using a limited corpus of action verbs, irrespective of the branch or level.

The glossary is divided into seven parts, corresponding to major fields of competence:

  • Information management;
  • Consultancy / assistance;
  • Production management (goods and services);
  • Management;
  • Human resource management and training;
  • Marketing and accountancy;
  • Research and development.

Download (Excel)

  • adjust

    Definition: 

    to alter slightly, esp. to achieve accuracy

    Examples of use: 
    treatment, machine, production system, equipment / installation, production process, tool
  • advise

    Definition: 

    to offer advice/counsel to a person or persons

    Examples of use: 
    management, staff
  • allocate

    Definition: 

    to assign or allot for a particular purpose

    Examples of use: 
    resources
  • analyse (components)

    Definition: 

    to make a mathematical, chemical, grammatical analysis

    Examples of use: 
    components, blood
  • analyse (information)

    Definition: 

    to examine in detail in order to discover meaning, essential feature, etc.

    Examples of use: 
    information, data
  • anticipate

    Definition: 

    to foresee and act in advance of

    Examples of use: 
    work, movements
  • anticipate / forecast

    Definition: 

    to foresee and act in advance of

    Examples of use: 
    work, movements
  • apply (rules)

    Definition: 

    to put to practical use

    Examples of use: 
    principles, rules, standards (hygiene, safety)
  • apply (marketing techniques)

    Definition: 

    to utilise techniques used to promote sales

    Examples of use: 
    market
  • assemble

    Definition: 

    to fit or join together (the parts of something such as a machine, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    scaffolding, equipment, elements of a structure
  • assess / evaluate (training)

    Definition: 

    to judge the worth, performance, etc., of; evaluate

    Examples of use: 
    personnel, training action
  • assess / evaluate (needs)

    Definition: 

    to judge the worth, importance etc. of; evaluate

    Examples of use: 
    needs, difficulties, risks, competences
  • assist (management)

    Definition: 

    to give help or support to (person)

    Examples of use: 
    management
  • breed / raise

    Definition: 

    to bring up / raise / to produce and maintain new or improved strains of (domestics animals or plants)

    Examples of use: 
    animals
  • budget / cost

    Definition: 

    to estimate the cost of (a product, service, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    menu, investment
  • build

    Definition: 

    make, construct or form by joining parts or materials

    Examples of use: 
    wall, structure
  • buy

    Definition: 

    to acquire by paying or promising to pay a sum of money or the equivalent; purchase

    Examples of use: 
    goods, services
  • calculate

    Definition: 

    to solve (one or more problems) by a mathematical procedure; compute

    Examples of use: 
    value
  • calibrate

    Definition: 

    to determine the accuracy of (a measuring instrument, etc)

    Examples of use: 
    machine, tool
  • canvass (for business)

    Definition: 

    to solicit votes, orders, advertising, etc. from

    Examples of use: 
    market, customers/clientele
  • carry out / perform

    Definition: 

    to bring to completion; accomplish

    Examples of use: 
    checking, quality control, survey, task, work, maintenance, interview, medical examination or treatment, repair, plant, harvest, operation/manoeuvre, plotting, measurement, transaction, maintenance, finishing off, adjustment, delivery, equipment start up, transportation, diagnostic, assessment, luggage check-in, medical analyses, technical inspection, assembling
  • check

    Definition: 

    to examine, investigate or make an inquiry into (facts, a product, etc.) for accuracy, quality, or progress, esp. rapidly or informally

    Examples of use: 
    conformity, quality, equipment, working order
  • clean / wash

    Definition: 

    to make or become free of dirt, filth, etc.

    Examples of use: 
    parts, premises
  • collaborate on

    Definition: 

    to work with another or others on a joint project

    Examples of use: 
    project, test performing, management, staff assessment/recruiting, equipment maintenance, equipment maintenance, strategy definition, logistics, prevention action, research
  • collect / gather (data)

    Definition: 

    to gather together

    Examples of use: 
    information, data
  • compare

    Definition: 

    to examine in order to observe resemblances or differences

    Examples of use: 
    data, information, results
  • compile

    Definition: 

    to make or compose from other material or sources

    Examples of use: 
    list, catalogue, inventory
  • conclude

    Definition: 

    to arrange finally; to settle

    Examples of use: 
    market, contract, sales
  • configure / set up (equipment)

    Definition: 

    to set up in a certain manner

    Examples of use: 
    equipment, computer, work area
  • contact

    Definition: 

    to put, come or be in association, touch or communication

    Examples of use: 
    supplier, clients
  • control / operate

    Definition: 

    to regulate or operate (a machine)

    Examples of use: 
    machine
  • coordinate

    Definition: 

    to organise or integrate (diverse elements) in a harmonious operation

    Examples of use: 
    people, work, interventions, production process, execution of a work
  • create (database)

    Definition: 

    to cause to come into existence

    Examples of use: 
    database, information
  • cultivate

    Definition: 

    to plant, tend, harvest or improve (plants) by labour and skills

    Examples of use: 
    plants, cereals
  • cut up

    Definition: 

    to cut into pieces

    Examples of use: 
    raw material, trees
  • deal with (dossier)

    Definition: 

    to take action on

    Examples of use: 
    dossier, complaint
  • decide

    Definition: 

    to determine or settle (a contest or question)

    Examples of use: 
    policy, resource allocation
  • define

    Definition: 

    to state precisely the meaning of (words, terms, etc)

    Examples of use: 
    database, term
  • delegate / share out

    Definition: 

    to give or commit (duties, powers, etc.) to another as agent or representative

    Examples of use: 
    tasks
  • deliver

    Definition: 

    to carry (goods, etc.) to a destination, esp. to carry and distribute (goods, products) to several places

    Examples of use: 
    product
  • demonstrate (marketing)

    Definition: 

    to display, operate, and explain the working of (a machine, product, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    product
  • describe

    Definition: 

    to give an account or representation of in words

    Examples of use: 
    product, range
  • design (training action)

    Definition: 

    to work out the structure or form of (something), as by making a sketch, outline, pattern or plans

    Examples of use: 
    training action
  • design (research and development)

    Definition: 

    to work out the structure or form of (something), as by making a sketch, outline, pattern or plans.

    Examples of use: 
    strategy, tool, procedure, method
  • detect

    Definition: 

    to discover the existence or presence of

    Examples of use: 
    defect, gap, illness
  • develop (method/process)

    Definition: 

    to elaborate or work out in detail

    Examples of use: 
    method, process
  • diagnose

    Definition: 

    to discover the existence or presence of

    Examples of use: 
    breakdown, difference, illness
  • direct

    Definition: 

    to tell or show (someone) the way to the place

    Examples of use: 
    customers, visitors
  • dismantle

    Definition: 

    to take apart

    Examples of use: 
    machine
  • disseminate

    Definition: 

    to distribute or scatter about; diffuse

    Examples of use: 
    information, mail
  • draft / draw up (a contract)

    Definition: 

    to formulate and write in an appropriate form

    Examples of use: 
    work contract
  • draw (plan)

    Definition: 

    to depict or sketch (a form, figure, picture, etc.) in lines, as with a pencil or pen

    Examples of use: 
    plan
  • draw up (document)

    Definition: 

    <p> 1) to formulate and write out in appropriate form <br>2) to prepare a draft (legal document)</p>

    Examples of use: 
    1) report, document, specifications, contract, offer 2) contract, agreement
  • eliminate

    Definition: 

    to remove or take out

    Examples of use: 
    impurities, faulty products
  • examine

    Definition: 

    to look at, inspect, or scrutinise carefully or in detail

    Examples of use: 
    document, issue, proposal
  • exchange (information)

    Definition: 

    to give or receive (information, ideas, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    ideas, opinions, point of view
  • expand (capacities)

    Definition: 

    to make or become greater in extend, volume, size or scope; increase

    Examples of use: 
    capacities, department
  • experiment (research and development)

    Definition: 

    to make an experiment or experiments

    Examples of use: 
    device, prototype, method
  • explain

    Definition: 

    to make something comprehensible, esp. by giving a clear and detailed account of the relevant structure, operation, surrounding circumstances, etc

    Examples of use: 
    document, issue, proposal
  • extract

    Definition: 

    to derive (information) from one source or situation

    Examples of use: 
    information from a source
  • find a replacement for (personnel)

    Definition: 

    to substitute one person for another

    Examples of use: 
    staff
  • fix / set (price/rate)

    Definition: 

    to settle definitely; decide

    Examples of use: 
    price, rate (products, services)
  • follow

    Definition: 

    1) to watch closely or continuously 2) to act in accordance with

    Examples of use: 
    1) a production cycle, works 2) instructions
  • follow up (product marketing)

    Definition: 

    to continue action after a beginning, esp. to increase its effect

    Examples of use: 
    product marketing, launching
  • identify (human resource needs)

    Definition: 

    to prove or recognise as a being a certain person or thing

    Examples of use: 
    human resource needs, training needs
  • impart

    Definition: 

    to communicate (information)

    Examples of use: 
    information
  • implement

    Definition: 

    to carry out, put into action; perform

    Examples of use: 
    principles, rules, standards (hygiene, safety)
  • improve

    Definition: 

    to make or become better in quality

    Examples of use: 
    treatment, machine, production system, equipment/installation, production process, tool
  • intervene (in)

    Definition: 

    to take a decisive or intrusive role (in) in order to modify or determine events or their outcomes

    Examples of use: 
    problem, issue, technical preparation, conflict
  • invoice (product/service)

    Definition: 

    to present (a customer) with an invoice

    Examples of use: 
    product, service
  • load

    Definition: 

    to place or receive (cargo, goods, etc.) upon (a ship, lorry, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    freight
  • maintain / look after

    Definition: 

    to keep in proper or good condition

    Examples of use: 
    installation, plant, network, garden
  • manage (team)

    Definition: 

    to order, require or compel

    Examples of use: 
    team
  • manage (human resources)

    Definition: 

    to order, require or compel

    Examples of use: 
    staff induction, enforcement of job legislation, training
  • manufacture

    Definition: 

    to process or make (a product) from a raw material

    Examples of use: 
    clothes, products, formwork, building elements
  • market

    Definition: 

    to offer or produce for sale

    Examples of use: 
    products
  • master

    Definition: 

    to become thoroughly proficient in

    Examples of use: 
    language, technique, principles
  • master (technique)

    Definition: 

    to become or be thoroughly proficient in

    Examples of use: 
    work process, technique, foreign language, software
  • measure

    Definition: 

    to determine the size, amount, etc. of by measurement

    Examples of use: 
    ingredients, parametres, impact, gaps, quantity/quality, product/service
  • measure out / proportion correctly

    Definition: 

    to adjust in relative amount

    Examples of use: 
    ingredients
  • modify (installation)

    Definition: 

    to change the structure, character, intent etc. of

    Examples of use: 
    installation
  • monitor

    Definition: 

    to observe or record (the activity or performance of) an engine or other device

    Examples of use: 
    machine, tool
  • negotiate (management)

    Definition: 

    to work or talk (with others) to achieve (a transaction, an agreement, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    solutions, deadline
  • negotiate (contract)

    Definition: 

    to work or talk (with others) to achieve (a transaction, an agreement, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    terms of sale / purchase, terms of contracts (orders, quantities, delivery deadlines, compensation, offers)
  • optimise

    Definition: 

    to take the full advantage of

    Examples of use: 
    treatment, machine, production system, equipment/installation, production process, tool
  • order

    Definition: 

    to request (something) to be supplied or made, esp. in return for payment

    Examples of use: 
    work, part
  • organise (management)

    Definition: 

    to form (parts of elements of something) into a structured whole

    Examples of use: 
    work, building site, programme, activity
  • organise (human resources)

    Definition: 

    to form (parts of elements of something) into a structured whole

    Examples of use: 
    staff training, recruitment
  • package / pack

    Definition: 

    to wrap in or put into a package

    Examples of use: 
    products
  • participate in

    Definition: 

    to take part, be or become actively involved, or share (in)

    Examples of use: 
    action, dossier, project
  • pilot

    Definition: 

    to control the course of / to guide or lead (people)

    Examples of use: 
    actions, equipment, vehicle
  • plan (production)

    Definition: 

    to form a plan (for) or make plans (for)

    Examples of use: 
    work, action, production phase, manufacturing
  • plan (human resources)

    Definition: 

    to form plan (for) or make plans (for)

    Examples of use: 
    staff training, recruitment
  • prepare (dossier)

    Definition: 

    to make ready or suitable in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc.

    Examples of use: 
    action, dossier, intervention, document
  • prepare (production)

    Definition: 

    to make ready or suitable in advance for a particular use or for some use, event, etc.

    Examples of use: 
    production, dish, equipment, tool, ground, surface, order, work area
  • prevent

    Definition: 

    to keep from happening, esp. by taking precautionary actions

    Examples of use: 
    accidents, conflicts, problems, disputes, complications
  • process

    Definition: 

    to treat or prepare by a special method, esp. to treat (food) in order to preserve it

    Examples of use: 
    raw material, food
  • program

    Definition: 

    to arrange data into a suitable form so that it can be processed by a computer

    Examples of use: 
    task, machine
  • promote (product)

    Definition: 

    to encourage the sale (of a product) by advertising or securing financial support

    Examples of use: 
    technique, product
  • put on display (products)

    Definition: 

    to show or make visible

    Examples of use: 
    products
  • raise awareness of (staff)

    Definition: 

    to heighten the awareness or consciousness of

    Examples of use: 
    rules, objectives, quality, safety
  • receive / take delivery of (freight)

    Definition: 

    to accept delivery or transmission of (letter, telephone call)

    Examples of use: 
    freight
  • recruit

    Definition: 

    to enrol or obtain (members, support, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    personnel
  • rectify

    Definition: 

    to put right, correct, remedy

    Examples of use: 
    treatment, machine, production system, equipment/installation, production process, tool
  • renovate

    Definition: 

    to restore (something) to good condition

    Examples of use: 
    building
  • repair / fix

    Definition: 

    to restore (something damaged or broken) to good condition or working order

    Examples of use: 
    device
  • report on

    Definition: 

    to give an account of the results of an investigation

    Examples of use: 
    activity, action
  • represent

    Definition: 

    to act as or be the authorised delegate or agent for (a person, country, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    authority, firm
  • resolve (conflicts)

    Definition: 

    to find the answer or solution to (problem)

    Examples of use: 
    conflicts
  • restore

    Definition: 

    to return (something, esp. a work of art or a building) to an original or former condition

    Examples of use: 
    building, painting
  • select (strategy)

    Definition: 

    to choose (someone or something) in preference to another or others

    Examples of use: 
    staff, activities, strategy
  • select (products)

    Definition: 

    to choose (someone or something) in preference to another or others

    Examples of use: 
    parts, products, equipments, parameters, treatment, methods, programmes and curricula
  • sell

    Definition: 

    to dispose of or transfer or be disposed of or transferred to a purchaser in exchange of money or other consideration

    Examples of use: 
    products
  • serve (customers)

    Definition: 

    to provide (guests, customers) with goods or services

    Examples of use: 
    customers / clients
  • set out (flowers, garden)

    Definition: 

    to arrange, present or display

    Examples of use: 
    flowers, garden
  • solve (problem)

    Definition: 

    to find the explanation for or solution to (problem)

    Examples of use: 
    problem, conflict
  • store

    Definition: 

    to place in a warehouse, depository, etc. for safekeeping

    Examples of use: 
    stock, food
  • structure

    Definition: 

    to impart a structure to

    Examples of use: 
    data, document
  • study (document)

    Definition: 

    to look at minutely

    Examples of use: 
    document
  • supervise (staff)

    Definition: 

    to direct or oversee the performance or operation of

    Examples of use: 
    production, staff, team
  • supervise (production, personnel)

    Definition: 

    to direct or oversee the performance or operation of

    Examples of use: 
    production, staff, team
  • supply / feed

    Definition: 

    to furnish with something which is required

    Examples of use: 
    machine
  • support

    Definition: 

    to give aid to

    Examples of use: 
    management, staff, superior, network, team
  • synthesise (data)

    Definition: 

    to combine or cause to combine into a whole

    Examples of use: 
    data
  • synthesise (product)

    Definition: 

    to produce by synthesis

    Examples of use: 
    product
  • take an order

    Definition: 

    to receive a request from a customer for goods or services

    Examples of use: 
    order
  • take a sample

    Definition: 

    to take a sample or samples of

    Examples of use: 
    blood, material
  • take stock / make an inventory

    Definition: 

    to examine, count and value goods on hand in a shop or business

    Examples of use: 
    ingredients, equipment
  • tend

    Definition: 

    to care for

    Examples of use: 
    person, animal
  • transport

    Definition: 

    to carry or cause to go from one place to another

    Examples of use: 
    people, products
  • treat (animal)

    Definition: 

    to apply treatment to

    Examples of use: 
    person, animal
  • unload

    Definition: 

    to remove a load or cargo from (a ship, lorry, etc.)

    Examples of use: 
    freight, machine
  • update

    Definition: 

    to bring up to date

    Examples of use: 
    file, database, document, information
  • use / utilise

    Definition: 

    to employ for a given purpose

    Examples of use: 
    products, terminology, equipment, technique, components
  • validate / approve / certify (research and development)

    Definition: 

    to confirm or corroborate

    Examples of use: 
    procedure, data
  • welcome

    Definition: 

    to greet the arrival of (visitors, guests, etc.) cordially or gladly

    Examples of use: 
    customers/clients, public
  • work in a team

    Definition: 

    to work with a group of people towards a common objective