12 Different Ways to Use “Take” in English Conversation

Michael Confusing Words 4 Comments

I take the train every morning to my office. I generally take the same train every morning. I had a headache on the train this morning so I took some medicine and fell asleep. I hope nobody took my photo! When I got to the office I took out my keyboard and mouse and started working. I took my pen in my hand and started working on lessons.

For today’s free English Lesson, we are going to look at several common uses of the verb take. Have a look at the paragraph above and then check the lesson. Note that take is an irregular verb so the three forms are take, took (past) and taken (past participle):

The basic meaning of take is to get into your hands or to reach out and told something:

  • Take my hand and let’s walk on the beach together.
  • Can I take this pen?
  • Ok. Let’s move the desk. You take that side, and I’ll take this side.

Take also has the meaning of to remove something or a person from a certain place. We often use take out or take away:

  • He took his wallet out and paid for lunch.
  • Please take out a pen or a pencil. It’s time for a quiz!
  • The police took the suspect to the station for questioning.

Take also means to chose or select:

  • I’ll take a double cheese burger and a side of fries.
  • There are so many nice pens in the display case. I think I’ll take the blue one.
  • I baked a lot of cookies, so you can take as many as you like.

We also use take to mean swallow or drink medicine:

  • The doctor said to take aspirin for a headache.
  • How many spoonfuls of this cough medicine should I take?
  • Take one tablet three times a day.

Take also means to ride, when we talk about transportation.

  • I take the commuter train every morning.
  • If you want to go to Boston, you can take a train or a plane from New York.
  • Let’s take the express bus today.

We also use take to mean steal:

  • Someone took my pen!
  • The office was robbed and they took three computers.
  • I keep my bicycle locked, so I am sure nobody will take it.

We use be or get taken to mean deceived or cheated:

  • If you see people playing the shell game on the street, don’t bet your money. You’ll surely get taken.
  • The man said this was a new camera, but I was taken. It’s actually used.

We can say that someone is taken. It means that person is married or already in a romantic relationship:

  • She’s a nice girl. It’s too bad she’s taken.
  • I was talking to him for an hour before I realized he was taken.

There are also many things you can take in English:

  • If you want to remember what the teacher says, you should take notes.
  • The doctor can take your temperature measure your body temperature or take your blood pressure measure your blood pressure.
  • If you want to have visual memories of an event, you can take a photo.