In 3.5e there are 4 actions in a combat round.
Free Action: Free actions consume a very small amount of time
and effort, and over the span of the round, their impact is so minor
that they are considered free. You can perform one or more free
actions while taking another action normally. However, the DM
puts reasonable limits on what you can really do for free. For in-
stance, calling out to your friends for help, dropping an object, and
ceasing to concentrate on a spell are all free actions.
Move Action: A move action allows you to move your speed or
perform an action that takes a similar amount of time. You can move
your speed, climb one-quarter of your speed, draw or stow a weapon
or other item, stand up, pick up an object, or perform some
equivalent action (see Table 8–2: Actions in Combat).
You can take a move action in place of a standard action. For in-
stance, rather than moving your speed and attacking, you could
stand up and move your speed (two move actions), put away a
weapon and climb one-quarter of your speed (two move actions), or
pick up an item and stow it in your backpack (two move actions).
Standard Action: A standard action allows you to do something.
The most common type of standard action is an attack—a single
melee or ranged attack. Other common standard actions including
casting a spell, concentrating to maintain an active spell, activating a
magic item, and using a special ability. See Table 8–2: Actions in
Combat for other standard actions.
Full-Round Action: A full-round action consumes all your effort
during a round. The only movement you can take during a full-
round action is a 5-foot step before, during, or after the action. You
can also perform free actions (see below) as your DM allows. The
most common type of full-round action is a full attack, which allows
you to make multiple melee or ranged attacks in a single round.
Some full-round actions do not allow you to take a 5-foot step.
Some full-round actions can be taken as standard actions, but only
in situations when you are limited to performing only a standard
action during your round (such as in a surprise round). The
descriptions of specific actions, below, detail which actions allow
I liked the 5e methodology of actions but have not really made a hard or fast rule on this since we switched back to 3.5e.