take a decision or make a decision

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snade17

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Hi dear experts, Could you comment on the difference between the two phrases:
"take a decision"
"make a decision"

Which one sounds better in my sentence:

" Consequently, children are usually raised in obedience and discipline (the father gives orders – the children obey). This has resulted in passivity: someone in a higher position in the hierarchy is expected to take the decisions. It is the parents who decide for their children what to study, what to work, who to marry. "
 

riverkid

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Hi dear experts, Could you comment on the difference between the two phrases:
"take a decision"
"make a decision"

Which one sounds better in my sentence:

" Consequently, children are usually raised in obedience and discipline (the father gives orders – the children obey). This has resulted in passivity: someone in a higher position in the hierarchy is expected to take the decisions. It is the parents who decide for their children what to study, what to work, who to marry. "

Howdy there Snade.

I never encountered/I had never encountered 'take a decision' in my fairly long life until I started my ESL teaching career. It is foreign to my dialect and when I first encountered it I thought that it was an ESL "mistake", possibly a direct translation from the mother tongue.

Though it sounds strange to my ear, I can't see any reason why it couldn't be used and why it couldn't hold the same meaning as 'make'. Frequent usage normally dispels any notions of strangeness.

Possibly - I'm only hazarding a guess and this, from the text - it is a form that was more common in previous generations.
 

snade17

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Thank you very much, riverkid!
 

banderas

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Make a decision suggests make your mind up. Take a decison is make your mind up and follow through. Example? I hear expressions like this: " A country takes the decision to go to war". What do you think native speakers?
Anyway there is a common opinion that make decision is more popluar and I agree here;-)
 

riverkid

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Make a decision suggests make your mind up. Take a decison is make your mind up and follow through. Example? I hear expressions like this: " A country takes the decision to go to war". What do you think native speakers?
Anyway there is a common opinion that make decision is more popluar and I agree here;-)

I don't see the distinction, Banderas, but as I mentioned it's not part of my dialect and I mean in a wide sense, NaE, because it's likely that I' would have heard it at least.

There may well be pockets of NaE where it is used and where it carries a meaning that is different from 'make'.
 

susiedqq

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The parents make the decisions.

The children take the decision of the parents and are expected to obey them.

Example: Mary wanted to go to Stanford. Her parents wanted her to go to UCLA and said they would give her a new car if she did. Mary took the decision and is now driving on campus.
 

banderas

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The parents make the decisions.

The children take the decision of the parents and are expected to obey them.

Example: Mary wanted to go to Stanford. Her parents wanted her to go to UCLA and said they would give her a new car if she did. Mary took the decision and is now driving on campus.

And this is exactly what I like about English:-D. One word might have plenty of meanings so that we can play on them.
 

riverkid

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The parents make the decisions.

The children take the decision of the parents and are expected to obey them.

Example: Mary wanted to go to Stanford. Her parents wanted her to go to UCLA and said they would give her a new car if she did. Mary took the decision and is now driving on campus.

Now I'm really puzzled. Do we really 'take a/the decision' with this meaning, Susie? We can accept or reject a/the decision.

Or maybe the question is, do we ever use 'take a decision' with the same meaning as 'make a decision'?

Snade, where did you come across the example you posted?

'take a decision' can be used to mean "react to a decision", as in,

I don't know how she'll take the decision,

I googled a few examples to see what came up following Banderas's ideas.

Results 1 - 5 of 5 English pages for "The USA took the decision ".

Results 1 - 9 of 9 English pages for "The country took the decision ".

Now, don't get me wrong. Even with this "poor showing", I'm not trying to suggest this collocation out of existence. I'm just curious as to its frequency.
 

banderas

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hi folks, I found something interesting, have a look:)

"Do you "take" or "make" a decision?
by
Tim North, Better Writing Skills


A friend e-mailed me recently and asked why some people write
(and say) "take a decision" instead of "make a decision".

Being a good friend, he researched his own answer before I got
around to replying. :) His investigation suggested that "take a
decision" is primarily British usage, whereas "make a decision"
is more common in the US.

A 'net denizen named "Trocco" provided the following insightful
comment:

I was also surprised at the number of times I've read and
heard "take a decision" in the last couple of years. Most
of the sources were British (BBC, The Economist), but I've
also noticed it creeping a bit into American speech as well.

As far as I know, there is not yet a "decision-taking
process". You can never be wrong with "decision-making
process".

Recent feedback from a reader named "Cip" adds this helpful
information:

In Spanish you "take" a decision, you never "make" one.
Perhaps the rationale behind it is that you do not
create/generate choices; the choices are there, available to
you.
...
You will hear many Spanish speaking people in the US say
"I need to take a decision" due to their native language
influence.

Interesting. "Taking a decision" still sounds a little strange to
me, but Cip's explanation is eminently reasonable".

From my side let me add that in polish we literally "undertake" decision.
As far as I know Germans literally "meet" decisions.
What about other languages? Jump in folks
 

engee30

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Here's what I found in my favourite English dictionary:

... | to take a decision (= to decide) | (BrE) to make a decision (= to decide) | ...
 

riverkid

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Recent feedback from a reader named "Cip" adds this helpful
information:

In Spanish you "take" a decision, you never "make" one.
Perhaps the rationale behind it is that you do not
create/generate choices; the choices are there, available to
you.
...
You will hear many Spanish speaking people in the US say
"I need to take a decision" due to their native language
influence.

Given the huge influx of Spanish speakers to the USA, that sounds like a possible explanation for an increasing frequency of 'take a decision' in the USA.
 
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