Water on the land and ocean surface is evaporated by heat from the Sun, changing from its liquid form to its gaseous form. Once in the atmosphere, the water vapour is moved by air currents, then rises, cools and condenses, falling back onto the land or ocean surface as precipitation, e.g. rain and snow.
If the water falls onto or close to vegetation, it may be returned to the atmosphere by direct evaporation, or taken up through the plant roots and released via transpiration through the pores in plant leaves. Water may also flow into rivers via surface runoff, or infiltrate into the soil and flow downslope as throughflow. Alternatively, if the bedrock is permeable, the water may percolate down into the bedrock, and flow into rivers or the ocean as groundwater flow. Once the water is returned to the oceans, it gets evaporated and the cycle starts again.
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