You can learn the English word “take” by watching videos, so you are able to understand English definition, meaning, sounds and acquire natural rhythms. Joshua’s Seven-Step Method is an effective learning method for listening, speaking, reading and writing English.

Learning video for “take” | Joshua’s English Dictionary

Take – Definition & Meaning summary

  1. (in the active sense) to lay hold of; to seize with the hands; to get into one’s hold or possession: or to convey or move something.
  2. (in the passive sense) to receive; to bear; to endure; to acknowledge; to accept.

Joshua’s Seven-Step Method

Let’s learn the English vocabulary “take” by using our Seven-Step Method for effective learning.

Step 1: How to pronounce “take” in English

Can you pronounce this word correctly?

The answer is this.

  • American : /teɪk/
  • British : /teɪk/
Step 2: The Word Origin

The word “take” is derived from Old Norse “taka” which means “to touch; to seize; to lay hold of.”

So, from the Word Origin, “to touch; to seize; to lay hold of” is the essential meaning of take.

Step 3: Definition

The modern usages of this word are:

Note: The word “take” has many meanings. It is used very frequently, and has a wide range of applications. We recommend that you separate the meanings into the following two general categories: (1) the active sense and (2) the passive sense.

First, (in the active sense)

to lay hold of; to seize with the hands; to get into one’s hold or possession: or to convey or move something.

e.g. 1 He took the money from the cash register.

e.g. 2 He took the bus to work this morning.

e.g. 3 She took her children to the zoo on Friday.

Second, (in the passive sense)

to receive; to bear; to endure; to acknowledge; to accept.

e.g. 1 He was taken by surprise when his boss asked to speak with him.

e.g. 2 He took his friend’s advice and decided to study for a Master’s Degree.

e.g. 3 He couldn’t take the pain any longer and decided to go to the hospital.

Note: Understanding the two uses of “take” is a practical and easy way to first study this word.

Now let’s learn more about the word, “take” in more detail.

First meaning, (in the active sense)

to lay hold of; to seize with the hands; to get into one’s hold or possession.

Hence, specifically:

(a) To obtain possession of by force; to get the custody or control of; to capture; to seize; to make prisoner. as, to take an army, a city, or a ship.

Note: “custody” means “a keeping or guarding; the act of overseeing; care.”

e.g. The captain ordered his troops to take no prisoners.

Note: “take no prisoners” means “(literally) to kill the enemy instead of taking them as prisoners. (figuratively) be ruthless to competitors to achieve your goals.”

(b) To gain or secure the interest or affection of; to captivate; to engage; to interest; to charm.

e.g. Don’t let her charm take advantage of you.

Note: In this sentence, “take advantage of” means “to allure; to draw on, by exciting desire.”

(c) To make selection of; to choose; also, to turn to; to have recourse to; as, to take the road to the right.

e.g. I’ll take the high road, and you take the low road, and I’ll get Scotland before you.

Note: This sentence is based on the Scottish song “The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.”

(d) To employ; to use; to occupy; hence, to demand; to require; as, it takes so much cloth to make a coat.

e.g. This company always takes a long time to make decisions.

(e) To form a likeness of; to copy; to delineate; to picture; as, to take picture of a person.

e.g. Do you mind if I take a picture (photo) of your dog?

(f) To draw; to deduce; to derive.

e.g. I take it that you are from the FBI, so you are not here to talk about the weather.

(g) To assume; to adopt; to acquire, as shape; to permit to one’s self; to indulge or engage in; to yield to; to have or feel; — used in general senses, limited by a following complement, in many idiomatic phrases; as, to take a resolution, I take the liberty to say.

e.g. May I take the liberty to say that you are a beautiful woman?

(h) To lead; to conduct.

e.g. I took my child to school today.

(i) To carry; to convey; to deliver to another; to hand over; as, he took the book to the bindery.

e.g. He took his shoes to the repair shop for new soles.

(j) To remove; to withdraw; to deduct; — with from; as, to take the breath from one; to take two from four.

e.g. The bank took the fee for additional checks directly from my account.

Second Meaning, (in the passive sense) to receive; to bear; to endure; to acknowledge; to accept.


(a) To accept, as something offered; to receive; not to refuse or reject; to admit.

e.g. He took the money from his poor uncle in order to avoid offending him.

Note: In this sentence, “offending” means “to cause an unpleasant feeling; causing problems.”

(b) To receive as something to be eaten or drunk; to partake of; to swallow; as, to take food or wine.

e.g. He took a sip of the milk and immediately knew it had turned.

Note: “turned” in this sentence means the milk has gone bad.

(c) Not to refuse or balk at; to undertake readily; to clear; as, to take a hedge or fence.

Note: “take a hedge or fence” means “(literally) jump over a barrier, (figuratively) say what you think clearly or directly.”

e.g. He took the road less travelled, and that has made all the difference.

Note: “take the road less travelled” means “(literally) to walk a way that not many people go through, (figuratively) take less commonly adopted methods.”

(d) To bear without ill humor or resentment; to submit to; to tolerate; to endure; as, to take a joke.

e.g. Tom is very thin-skinned and can’t take a joke.

Note: “thin-skinned” means “(literally) having a not dense or thick skin, (figuratively) easily upset or hurt by criticism, insult, etc.; sensitive.”

(e) To admit, as, something presented to the mind; not to dispute; to allow; to accept; to receive in thought; as, to take a thing for granted, this I take to be man’s motive, to take men for spies.

e.g. Your point is well taken.

(f) To accept the word or offer of; to receive and accept; to bear; to submit to; to enter into agreement with; — used in general senses.

e.g. We don’t need a written contract. I’ll take you at your word.

Step 4: Derived words or Related words
  • took, taken, taking
  • intake, mistake, overtake, painstaking, partake
  • takeaway, takeout, give-and-take, etc.
Step 5: Word forming elements and application examples


Step 6: Collocation

A collocation is the natural connection of words.

Used as a VERB.



Please take care of my dog while I’m away.


Exactly when did these events take place?


Take a look at what the fire did to my property.


We must take steps to prevent this from happening again.


I get the feeling that they are taking advantage of us.


We must be proactive and take some action to avoid losing our market share.

Note: “proactive” means “controlling an expected situation rather than just responding when it happens; to exercise foresight.”


Can you take a picture of me standing next to the monument?


Okay everyone, let’s take a break.


We need to take into account the opportunity cost of the project.

Note: “take into account” means “to consider; to think on with care; to ponder.”


He needed to take a breath and think about what he was doing.



Take a deep breath and jump into the water.



e.g. 1 The genie took him on a magic carpet ride and granted him three wishes.

e.g. 2 We’ve taken God for granted.

Note: In this sentence, “take for granted” means “to consider as true or real without question.”



He decided to take some time off next week.


I cannot take him seriously.


Take it easy and don’t get so excited.


I was taken aback by what she said about you.

Note: “taken aback” means “to be very surprised.”


Take awhile and think about it before you decide.

Note: “take awhile” means “to take some time.”

Step 7: Commonly used Word Pairings and phrases

Note: The word “take” is a word that native speakers frequently use, which has a wide range of meanings and practical phrases that you should try to learn. Learning these basic commonly used phrases will help you master English more efficiently.

You might feel a little overwhelmed at the beginning because there are so many meanings for just one simple vocabulary word. However, please don’t give up. Because if you work hard at this stage, your English skills will get better and closer to English spoken by native speakers.

take it

Take it easy on the way home.

take care

Take care of things while I’m away.

take on

We are too busy to take on another client.

take you

Can I take you to Senior Prom?

Note: “Senior Prom” means “a formal dance for high school students held at the end of their senior year. Usually, a boy invites a girl he likes to start a relationship.”

it takes

It takes two to tango.

Note: “tango” is a dance for two people, so this idiom means both parties have to work together and are equally responsible for what happens.

not take

I cannot take his incessant talking.

Note: “incessant” means non-stop.

it took

It took us three months to finish that project

he took

He took the last train home last night.

Note: “take the last train home” means “he took the last train to return home.”

you take

Did you take the car to the repair shop?

will take

He will take some time off to get treatment for his illness.

take a look

Take a look at this report when you have time.

take into account

Did you take into account the training costs?

take it easy

Take it easy. everything will be all right.

took place in

What took place in the meeting after I left?

take a break

You’re too tired so take a break.

take you to

I’d love to take you to the opera next week.

take the time

Can you take the time to read the first draft of my novel?

take part in

I do not want to take part in any of your crazy scheme.

going to take

I heard he is going to take a one-year sabbatical.

Note: “sabbatical” means “a rest from labor.”

have to take

I have to take my kids to Disneyland this weekend.


I’m not gonna take this anymore.

take a look at

Take a look at last month’s sales reports as soon as possible.

took a deep breath

He took a deep breath and jumped into the lake.

take care of it

I’ll take care of it, so don’t worry.

take care of you

Didn’t he promise to take care of you after you stop working?

take a closer look

Can you take a closer look at my calculations?

Note: “take a closer look” means “observe closely; consider in detail; find out more.”

take a long time

This word “take” is taking a long time because it has so many meanings!

take a step back

Take a step back. You’re blocking the way.

taking a look at

The boss is taking a look at my report as we speak.

it would take

It would take a miracle for this to work.

you can take

Can you take me to the airport this weekend?

need to take

I need to take a vacation.

able to take

Are you able to take some time off from work?

willing to take

I’m willing to take a chance and hire him on a trial basis.

trying to take

I’ve been trying to take a day off from work, but we’ve just been too busy.

decided to take

I decided to take an online course to improve my English. It’s called Joshua’s English Dictionary.

take it from

Please take it down from the top shelf.

take some time

Take some time and think it over.

take responsibility for

Jones refused to take responsibility for his mistake.

Phrases that expands its meaning by associating with other words.

Great job!

You now have mastered the word “take.”