Take up?

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Etern1ty

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Hello.
I was doing an exercice in my book, when I came across a problem with the verb "to take up".
The exercice asks to remove 1-2 extra words from the sentences.
"It takes up a lot of time to learn how to fire out the arrows accurately in archery". The answer is: up, out. So it's "It takes a lot of time..."
But in another exercice about phrasal verbs I found a sentence:
"I have to stop playing tennis because it takes up too much of my free time" and this is correct.
So why it's incorrect to say "It takes up a lot of time to learn ..." ? The two sentences seem quite identical.

I can't see or tell the difference between "It takes a lot of time" or "It takes up a lot of time".

I know also that "to take up" means "to start a new hobby", but it's another case.

Thank you in advance
 

EnglishAdvance

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Go with your instincts because you are right. In the instances you have given, you would be equally correct both ways. The "up" is optional.

There is one more "to take up" as in to take up a habit or a cause. In this type of use, "up" is not optional.
 

Barb_D

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If something takes a lot of time, it simply means that a lot of time is needed. It's not necessarily too much time, too little time, a large portion of the time you have available, etc.

Don't worry about prepositions - it takes time to learn them.

If you have only a certain amount of time to devote to something, and it takes a lot of time, you might feel it takes UP too much of your time. "Taking up" is about using what is available.

For example, let's say you like a bed you see, but it's a really big bed. You might decide that if you got it, it would take up too much of the room in your bedroom. It would use a large portion of the space availble, just as you have the other example of using a larege portion of the time available.
 

Etern1ty

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Thank you. I've seen before the example about beds :) And I got the difference, I guess. But I still think that
"It takes up a lot of time to learn how to fire the arrows accurately in archery" is correct, for example, if I continue " ... so I can't take up archery because I don't have a lot of free time " :) Like, it takes up a lot of my own free time, I'd prefer to do something else, I have a lot of other nice hobbies to choose...
 

emsr2d2

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Thank you. I've seen before the example about beds :) And I got the difference, I guess. But I still think that
"It takes up a lot of time to learn how to fire the arrows accurately in archery" is correct, for example, if I continue " ... so I can't take up archery because I don't have a lot of free time " :) Like, it takes up a lot of my own free time, I'd prefer to do something else, I have a lot of other nice hobbies to choose...

I disagree.

"It takes a lot of time (or a long time) to learn archery, so I'm not going to bother." This is a general statement that one can't learn archery quickly.

"I love archery but it takes up a lot of my time." This is a personal statement. Many things you do take up your time, but this particular one takes up a lot of your time.
 

Barb_D

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And I agree with ems in disagreeing that your "take up" is okay in the archery example.

She said it perfectly.
 
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