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    #1

    what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    I read this sentence in the newspaper:

    He was sick and had to take to his bed yesterday.

    Can I say:
    He was sick and had to stay in bed yesterday

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    Hi, and welcome to Using English.

    Not only CAN you say that, it would be more natural to say it that way (in my opinion).
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. Amigos4's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas615 View Post
    I read this sentence in the newspaper:

    He was sick and had to take to his bed yesterday.

    Can I say:
    He was sick and had to stay in bed yesterday
    I agree with Barb! Common usage in the US would be: He was sick and had to stay in bed yesterday.

  3. Amigos4's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    Thomas615, welcome to the forums! I hope you will be a frequent visitor!

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas615 View Post
    I read this sentence in the newspaper:

    He was sick and had to take to his bed yesterday.

    Can I say:
    He was sick and had to stay in bed yesterday
    "To take to one's bed" is not exactly the same as "to stay in bed". If you take to your bed, you go to bed. If you stay in bed, you are already in bed and you don't get up.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    That's true and I thought about that after I posted.

    Both "He had to go to bed" and "He had to stay in bed" are both more natural than "He had to take to his bed" in current, local usage.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. Tullia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    For some reason, "taking to one's bed" always makes me think of Mrs Bennet from P&P! I would use that phrase to describe what she does on hearing about Lydia running away from Brighton.

    I associate it - and we are talking about very subtle shades of meaning here - with a decision or choice to go to bed, possibly justified but also possibly an overreaction. It feels like a dramatic action of some kind, and therefore I would say is more suited to literature. As people have said above, it's certainly not a phrase we would use conversationally, in any case.

  7. Amigos4's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    For some reason, "taking to one's bed" always makes me think of Mrs Bennet from P&P! I would use that phrase to describe what she does on hearing about Lydia running away from Brighton.

    I associate it - and we are talking about very subtle shades of meaning here - with a decision or choice to go to bed, possibly justified but also possibly an overreaction. It feels like a dramatic action of some kind, and therefore I would say is more suited to literature. As people have said above, it's certainly not a phrase we would use conversationally, in any case.
    I agree with you, Tullia! "Taking to one's bed" has always struck me as being a dramatic action! An individual who is trying to escape/run away from an emotional issue/situation would 'take to bed' rather than just go to bed! When I am ill I will 'go to bed'...when my mother-in-law announces she is coming for a 3 week visit I will 'take to my bed'!!!

  8. BobK's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Hi, and welcome to Using English.

    Not only CAN you say that, it would be more natural to say it that way (in my opinion).
    In Br Eng, as bhaisahab says, it's common to say 'took to his bed' (when someone's ill). I don't take to my bed every night; I go to bed. Some people favour 'go to bed', even when they're ill; but a lot of people still 'take to their bed'.

    As it's a choice, and as the more modern-sounding version is plain 'go to bed', even regular users of 'go to bed' sometimes use 'take to his bed' sarcastically (of someone who takes his minor indispositions too seriously - 'John's not in today. He has a touch of man-'flu and has taken to his bed again'.)


    b

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    #10

    Re: what is the meaning "to take to her bed"

    I keep reading the title as "Take her to bed" (as in, just to keep her from the foggy foggy dew). We seldom hear "take to her bed" here.

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