Tricky English: Take it easy
Take it from me that this write-up will take you to the world of the usage of the English word—take. So take it easy!
The word ‘take’ is a general term applicable to any manner of getting someone or something into one’s possession or control as in ‘he took the paper and gave it to me’.
Thus, the basic meaning of ‘take’ is to lay hold of something with your hands and gain its possession. In other words, taking something means gaining its possession, whereas giving something means transferring the possession to someone else. For example, let me take a pen and sign those documents once I’m convinced. Then you can take them to the authority as required. However, it has many other figurative and extended meanings, such as I take comfort/ delight in interacting with you.
Remember that ‘take’ is a transitive verb. Hence, it takes an object. Take /teɪk/ falls under the category of irregular verbs as opposed to the regular verbs that end in -ed when they turn into V2 and V3. The second form of take is ‘took’ which has a soft pronunciation— /tʊk/. The third form is ‘taken’, and ‘taking’ and ‘takes’ are the fourth and fifth forms respectively.
Take is one of the most often-used words in English. It is used in many different ways and contexts. Remember that ‘take’ as a dummy verb is used with nouns to say that somebody is doing something, performing an action, etc. In other words, take is used in conjunction with a noun referring to an action. For example, take/ have a look at the sentence. I have taken/ made a decision to brush up (on) my English, taking a break from my job. Hence, I’m taking a course at the British Lingua Institute.
To keep my mind and body fresh, I take/ have a shower religiously. Further, I take a deep breath and release air slowly during yoga. It takes a bit of time. But then, it is good for wellbeing. I take a yoga mat to the park where I do yoga. If you take something from one place to another, you carry it there. General advice is not to forget to take/ carry your ID card when you go out.
Have and take are both commonly used with nouns as their objects. There is often a difference between British and American usage. As an example of British usage, I take a bath on a regular basis. The phrase “I take a bath” is typical of American usage. To take a walk or nap is an American usage whereas to go for a walk/ ride/ swim or have a nap is British.
The verb ‘take’ is not used when anything is moved to the speaker or listener. For example, you can’t say, can you take me the book from the desk, please? The correct sentence would be, can you bring me the book from the desk, please? Further, ‘take’ is not used when talking about having a meal or a drink. ‘We took dinner together yesterday ‘is the wrong expression. To correct it, ‘took has to be replaced by ‘had’
To be honest, I must tell you that Laloo can speak English very well, but some people take a dig at his accent because he comes from Bihar. To take a dig or jab or jibe means to make a sarcastic or insulting remark or criticism at someone.
If you say that I’m going to take an exam or test, it means you are a student, and you will write the answers to the set of questions given. In other words, your teacher or an authority gives you an exam, and you take it, sit it, or write it.
It takes time to do something. If something takes a certain amount of time, you need that amount of time to do it. This article is a three-minute read. It means it will take three minutes to read it. Anyway, how much time does it take you to finish an article on the editorial page?
Bring, fetch, carry, and take appear to be synonyms for certain meanings. However, each of them has varying uses. At times, they are not interchangeable. Happen, occur, and take place look to be similar. They have a similar meaning. But the first two are used to talk about events that are not planned, whereas take place is used to talk about either planned or unplanned events. So, what’s your take on this piece? Did you take away anything from it?
*The writer is a noted author, accredited with having created a revolution in English training In India with the slogan ‘English for all’.