Phrasal Verbs–Take

“Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough; but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”
– Joss Whedon

Today we’ll be discussing phrasal verbs. A phrasal verb is a verb that consists of a verb with another grammatical element. It may be a preposition or adverb, for instance, or it could be both. Regardless, the meaning they have as a combination is separate than the meaning they would have separate. Before we move on to the phrasal verbs, let’s take a look at the first phrasal verb presented. I have broken down the phrasal verb into its separate pieces, giving us the opportunity to look at each part separately.

Take + off = take off (a phrasal verb). But what are its components?

Take may appear as a verb or a noun in the context of a sentence:

Take: verb. To hold in your hands; grasp.
EXAMPLE: I will take the receipt and put it in my purse. 

Take: noun. A sequence of sound or video that is filmed or recorded at one time.
EXAMPLE: It took several takes to film the movie scene correctly.

Off may appear as an adverb, adjective or preposition given the context:

Off: adverb. To be at a distance from someone/thing else.
EXAMPLE: He ran off with the document.

Off: adjective. Someone that feels inadequate or worse than normal.
EXAMPLE: I feel off after I was not prepared for the meeting.

Off: preposition. To move away from someone/thing.
EXAMPLE: The ball rolled off the table.

Now that we have an understanding of these words separately, let’s look at them together.

  • Take off:
    • An aircraft leaves the ground and takes flight.
      • At what time will this plane take off?
      • You may not use your cell phone during take off.
    • To suddenly leave.
      • Why did you take off like that?
      • He wants to take off work tomorrow.
  • Take over:
    • To have control of something.
      • Robin wants to take over the project.
      • The manager wants to take over the sales team.
    • To replace someone/thing.
      • She plans to take over the company when the CEO retires. 
      • Are you prepared to take over the department this week?
  • Take up:
    • To occupy time or attention.
      • She will take up twenty minutes for the speech. 
      • The doctor will take up the surgical position within the hospital.
    • To become interested or engaged.
      • I want to take up playing baseball.
      • The youngster wants to take up art.
  • Take down:
    • To write down.
      • He took down the information from the caller. 
      • Let me take down your phone number.
    • To remove something that was previously in place.
      • It’s time to take down the Christmas tree. 
      • She wants to take down the poster from the wall.
  • Take after:
    • To resemble someone.
      • Your cooking skills take after your grandmother. 
      • The girl’s love of hiking takes after her father. 

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