The word ‘move’ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to make progress or go in a specific direction.

For example:

  • The project is moving forward at a satisfactory rate. (make progress)
  • Harry moved closser to Sally. (specific direction)


Move is a regular verb. The past tense and past participle is moved. If you struggle to pronounce past tense regular verbs, click here for some guidance.

idiomatic phrasal verbs

Did you know phrasal verbs are sometimes used in idioms? See if you can spot any. If you don’t know any phrasal verbs with ‘move’, click here to learn them.

idioms list with ‘move’

  • move heaven and earth – work very hard to achieve something
    e.g. Lawrence is a good chap. He’ll move heaven and earth to finish the project on time.
  • move in the same circles – associate/socialise with similar people/organisations
    e.g. I know Janine. We move in the same circles, she’s a lawyer too.
  • move mountains – be able to achieve very difficult things
    e.g. I believe our world cup squad can move mountains this year.
  • move the goalposts – change the rules/parameters to make a situation more difficult
    e.g. I met the conditions, but they refused my proposal. They can’t keep moving the goalposts.
  • move with the times – be modern, change with the world/technology
    e.g. We’ve got to move with the times. Advertising on social media is the way forward.

Let’s see these idioms with pictures and meaning using real-life scenarios.

verb phrases - move
move idioms - move heaven and earth
verb phrase - move in the same circles
Idioms with verbs - MOVE - move mountains
move idioms - move the goalposts
Idioms with verbs - MOVE - move with the times


Hey, did you know the verb ‘move’ has many phrasal verbs. Since you like idioms and phrases, you obviously want to improve your fluency and speak like a native.

Am I right?


I thought you might like to learn the phrasal verbs with ‘move’ too. They are very common in informal English and great to know/be able to understand if you happen to be speaking to a native. We use them all the time, like literally ALL the time.