Phrasal verbs with take: learn English grammar and vocabulary

Phrasal verbs with take


This post looks at everyday expressions and phrasal verbs with take.  Phrasal verbs are a phrase of two or more words, usually a verb and a preposition or a verb, adverb and prepositions.  In English there are many phrasal verbs with take and they often have a more ‘formal’ equivalent. e.g.  take after somebody = to resemble



Take after somebody


 = To look like or behave like another member of the family

It seems like she takes after her father.  He used to be really good at chess too.


The twins also take after their mother. They both have the same dark brown hair and the same nose.


Take apart


= To separate something in to parts


When my daughter was young she used to take everything apart because she wanted to see how things worked.


Take care of something or something


= To be responsible for somebody or something


Would you mind also taking care of our cat while we’re on holiday as well as the hamster?


Take it out of somebody


= Make someone very tired


That run really took it out of me so I’m probably going to have a bath and relax for a bit.

Take Something Back


= 1) Return to the shop something you bought


I want to take this dress back to the shop and see if they have one in a smaller size.


= 2) Admit that you said something wrong


I’m sorry I shouted at you for breaking the vase. I take it back. Tom finally admitted that he had broken it.


Take Something Down


= 1) Make notes or write information


Take down my number and you can call me if you need anything.


= 2) To remove something that had been put up


The people wanted the statue of the mayor taken down after he had stolen money from the council offices.


Take somebody in (1)


= To let somebody stay in your house for an unspecified amount of time


When my friend had to leave her house because of fire damage we took her in until she could find somewhere else to live.


Take somebody in (2)


= 1) Deceive someone / to make someone believe something that is not true.


Jack was completely taken in by the thief who said his car had broken down and he needed to use the Jack’s phone.  The thief ran off with Jack’s phone and Jack was not able to catch him.


= 2) When someone is taken to the Police Station by the police (British)


I hear that they eventually found the thief and that the police have taken him in for questioning.


Take something in


= 1) Make an item of clothing smaller


Jane had to ask someone to take her wedding dress in because it did not fit.


= 2) to completely understand the meaning of something


I’m sorry but this news is too much to take in. I need time to think. I cant’ give you an answer yet.


= 3) to visit somewhere or something of interest (US)


Shall we take in the new exhibition at Simpson’s Gallery?


No, I’m a bit tired.  I shall probably just go home and have a bath.


Take off


= 1) Leave the ground to fly


What time does the plane take off this evening?


Watching the flock of geese take off and fly away was amazing.


(Some people also use the expression take flight with regards to birds)


= 2) Become successful or popular very quickly


After years of hard work and no success Joe decided to try something new.  He started to advertise on the television and internet and now his business is really taking off.


= 3) Leave a place suddenly (informal)


Sorry, but I’m going to take off now because I’ve got a really early meeting tomorrow morning.


Take over something


 = Take control


The business lost a lot of clients when the Managing Director retired and his son took over the company.


Take something off


= 1) Remove a piece of clothing from your body


Could you take off your shoes please before entering the house.  We’ve just got a new carpet.



Take something on


= Accept some work or responsibility


I have taken on a new project at work.  They want me to design a new app for language learners.


Take somebody on


= 1) Employ or hire somebody


If you are looking for a job I have heard that the new supermarket is taking on staff.


= 2) Fight or compete against somebody


We’re taking on the neighbours in a game of five-a-side football this weekend.


Take somebody out


= Go out with someone and pay for them to visit somewhere or have a meal.


Our boss takes us out for a Christmas meal every year.  We’ll probably go to that new Italian restaurant next door this year.


Take something out


= Remove something from a place


When my children were young they would take a new toy out of its box and just play with the box!


Take something out on somebody


= Treat someone badly because you are tired or angry about something else


I know you’ve had a bad day but please don’t take it out on me!


Take up something


= 1) Start doing something regularly (usually for pleasure)


Pete says he’s going to take up golf now he’s finally retired.  


= 2) Fill a space or some time


I used to work in the city but it was taking too much time getting there and back.  I never saw my family so I got a job closer to home.


Take somebody up on something


= Accept an offer or invitation


John said he would look after the dogs while we go on holiday. I think we should take him up on that because it’s cheaper than putting the dogs into a kennel for two weeks.


Take something up with somebody


= Complain to someone


We weren’t happy with our meal so we took it up with the manager.


Thank you for reading this post about phrasal verbs with take.  Why not try..

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1 thought on “Phrasal verbs with take: learn English grammar and vocabulary”

  1. Hello Lisa!
    A great post about the “terrible” phrasal verbs. You have tons of them, and foreigners like me have to go through learning them, as much as possible sooner or later.
    Keep on doing such a great job. 🙂

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