Phrasal Verbs with 'Take'

Take aback

Surprise or shock

Example: The news of her death TOOK me ABACK.

Take after

Look like, resemble

Example: He TAKES AFTER his mother.

Take apart

Take something to pieces

Example: She TOOK the photocopier APART to see what had got stuck in it.

Take aside

Get someone alone to talk to them

Example: The teacher TOOK her ASIDE and said that she'd failed the exam.

Take away


Example: The police TOOK the protestors AWAY.

Take back

Make someone nostalgic

Example: That song always TAKES me BACK to when I was at university.

Take back

Retract a statement, admit that something was wrong

Example: I had to TAKE BACK everything bad I'd said about them when I learned how they'd helped out.

Take down

Make notes or write down in full

Example: The police TOOK DOWN his answers to their questions.

Take down


Example: People TAKE DOWN their Christmas decorations twelve days after Christmas.

Take for

Believe that someone is a certain kind of person

Example: Do you TAKE me FOR a fool?

Take in

Absorb information

Example: The lecture was rather boring and I didn't TAKE IN much of what the lecturer said.

Take in


Example: She TOOK me IN with her story until someone told me the truth.

Take in

Make clothes smaller

Example: The jacket was far too big around the shoulders, so I had it TAKEN IN so that I could wear it.

Take in

Assume care or support

Example: The family TOOK IN the three homeless kittens.

Take it

Accept criticism

Example: He's good at criticising others, but can't TAKE IT himself.

Take it out on

Abuse someone because you're angry

Example: Whenever things go wrong, he always shouts and TAKES IT OUT ON me, even if I had nothing to do with the problem.

Take it upon yourself

Take responsibility, often without consulting other people

Example: I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF to make sure he got up on time.

Take off

Make great progress

Example: The software house really TOOK OFF when they produced the latest version of their DTP package.

Take off

Reduce the price of an item

Example: They've TAKEN ten percent OFF designer frames for glasses.

Take off

When a plane departs or leaves the ground

Example: The flight for Dublin TOOK OFF on time.

Take off


Example: It was hot, so I TOOK my jacket OFF.

Take on

Allow passengers on a ship or plane

Example: The plane stopped at Zurich to TAKE ON some passengers.

Take on

Assume a responsibility

Example: She TOOK ON the task of indexing the book.

Take on


Example: The council has had to TAKE ON twenty extra employees to handle their increased workload.

Take out

Borrow a library book

Example: I TOOK OUT all the books I needed for my essay from the library.

Take out

Borrow money from a bank or other official lender

Example: Jackie and Anil TOOK OUT a mortgage to buy a bigger flat.

Take out

Extract or remove

Example: The dentist TOOK OUT all of my wisdom teeth before they started causing any problems.

Take out

Go out socially with someone, especially a date

Example: He TOOK her OUT to a restaurant last Friday night.

Take out

Obtain insurance

Example: I TOOK OUT some health insurance before I went backpacking around Latin America.

Take out

Kill, murder

Example: The gang TOOK him OUT after he spoke to the police.

Take over

Assume control of a company or organisation

Example: The bank was TAKEN OVER by a Hong Kong bank that needed to buy a bank to get into the British market.

Take over

Start a job or position that someone had occupied before you

Example: She TOOK OVER responsibility for the project last month.

Take through

Explain something to someone

Example: He TOOK me THROUGH the procedures before we started.

Take to

Make a habit of something

Example: He's TAKEN TO wearing a baseball cap since his hair started thinning more noticeably.

Take up

Fill or occupy time or space

Example: An awful lot of my time at work is TAKEN UP with pointless bureaucracy nowadays.

Take up

Make clothes shorter

Example: The trousers were too long so I TOOK them UP to make them fit.

Take up

Start a new hobby, pastime, etc.

Example: He TOOK UP squash as he felt he had to lose some weight.