How we are with the breath, can make a huge difference in how we meditate.
Here are some of my favorites:
Follow the breath
Find the breath
Get in touch with the breath
Be with the breath
Turn the attention to the breath
And some common approaches that make me cringe:
Take a breath
Even out the inhale and the exhale
The breath is always there, going in and out at its own pace. Nothing to do, no place for 'I', other than the intention of stepping aside, and being with the subtle movements of the breath, moment to moment.
Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.
"Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.'"