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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000

    set out / take up

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am on the right track by the interpretation of the idioms in bold in the following brief excerpt from the George Donald’s “Donal Grand”?

    He had set out before the sun was up, for he would not be met byfriends or acquaintances. Avoiding the well-known farmhouses andoccasional village, he took his way up the river, and about nooncame to a hamlet where no one knew him--a cluster
    of straw-roofed
    cottages, low and white, with two little windows each.

    set out = begin a journey

    take up = resume, continue (in the present case continue o’s way along the river)

    I know another meaning of the “take up” namely reduce the size, shorten (for example the way). In my opinion there is a real precondition for a man to get into a tangle.

    Thank you for your efforts.



    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 150

    Re: set out / take up

    Set out means begin a journey.

    I've never seen "took" used in the way it is here. From the context, the author seems to mean he travelled, or went. I don't think the "up" is part of a phrasal verb - it just indicates his direction in relation to the river.

    If you replace the word "took" with the word "made" in the example, it makes more sense to me. To make your way means "to make progress; to advance".

    Perhaps "took his way" is an old-fashioned expression.


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