In the cooking video I'm trying to describe, a man (chef) is standing in front of the camera. He's standing at the table (i.e. there's a table before him). There's a cooker behind him. The man is going to turn (or turn away?) from the camera (i.e. from his viewers, from us) and step to (move to or come up to) the cooker behind him.

I've put the link to this video, the start time is 3:40. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVJoHEdfis8&t=223s . It may help understand better than my clunky explanation.

My questions are:

0) Is it a motion or movement or move I'm trying to describe?

1) Which one should I pick in the situation above: "turn from" or "turn away from" or "turn his back to" or anything else?

2) Is he going to "step to" or "move to" the cooker or anything different?

  • After some considerations (which might be wrong as well) I figured that “turn his back on” is something out of place in my case. As for “turn from” and “turn away from” – well, I’d rather choose the second one, but what confuses me is definitions like this one from Macmillan Dictionary: [turn away from something] to refuse to accept or to use something any longer Ex: Many shoppers turned away from products that were not environmentally friendly. macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/turn-away-from
    – Olga
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 11:02
  • The meaning above is figurative (deny, reject, take down etc.). But can we use “turn away from” in its direct meaning?
    – Olga
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 11:03
  • Here’s what I’ve found in Merriam-Webster, and it looks more like what I’m looking for: TURN (intransitive verb): merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turn 3a: to change position (as of one's head) so as to face another way Ex: everyone turned to stare b: to face toward or away from someone or something Ex: flowers turn toward the light But again, there's no "turn away from" collocation.
    – Olga
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


It is a motion or movement that you are trying to describe. A move connotes some very specific movement that people might have to practice - like a dance move or a fighting move. Move is used more often as a verb than a noun. Motion or movement have different dialect-dependent connotations; in some parts of the UK, referring to a motion has a particular toilet-related meaning. Actually, so does movement, but it's much less common - so there's a lower chance of anyone snickering at movement. Both nouns can be abstract and uncountable, referring to movement in general, or countable to refer to a particular instance or type of movement. Their usage is not entirely equivalent, however - you can describe an object as being in motion, but not in movement.

Turn from and turn away from have essentially the same meaning, but turn from tends to be used more poetically or metaphorically:

You must turn from your wicked ways and find salvation.

Both expressions can be used for the physical movement or the metaphorical movement (as you quoted in comment, "to refuse to accept or to use something"), but in my experience turn away from is more often physical, and turn from more often metaphorical. This is just using the word turn but using away to indicate direction.

Of course, you could just say "turn around" and have done with it - if everyone knows where he was facing, then obviously he's turning away from that direction.

You can use a lot of verbs for the movement towards the cooker. If you use step, I would use step up to, though I can't put my finger on why. Step to is of course an expression on its own, probably an abbreviation of "step to it", essentially meaning "get on with it". That might be why I prefer "step up to". You can also use move (up) to; they mean the same thing, but using step implies that he is walking, and doesn't have to move far. Come up to is also reasonable, though overall I'd prefer step up to in this situation.

  • Thank you so much Sam! I didn't expect to get a response, because it had been a while since I posted my question. Your answer is really helpful. Many thanks!
    – Olga
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 9:12

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