English Phrasal Verbs

Practice your English with Caroline Brown


Here is the final part of our look at some common expressions using the verb 'to take ' combined with particles:

'to take up' means to start doing a hobby or activity.

  • Since he retired, he's taken up golf.
  • I'm thinking of taking up yoga. It will help me relax.

'to take up' also means to take a particular quantity of space or time.

  • This sofa is too big. It takes up too much space.
  • I'm going to stop going to the classes. They take up too much time.

'to take up' can also mean to remove something which is fixed down to a surface.

  • We're taking up the tiles and replacing them with a new ones.
  • We are going to take up the old floor in the kitchen and put in a wooden one.

'to take up' also means to accept an offer or opportunity.

  • I'm going to take up your offer of a lift. Can you pick me up at seven?
  • He's going to take up that job offer and move to the office in London.

'to take up' means to continue an activity that had been interrupted.

  • Jenny came back and took up the story where she had left off.
  • When Pete had to leave, I took up the story where he had finished.

'to take up' also means to shorten a piece of clothing.

  • I'm so short that when I buy jeans, I always have to take them up.
  • I had to take the sleeves up a couple of inches as my arms are not as long as yours.

'to take someone up on something' means to accept an offer someone has made.

  • Bill offered me a ride home so I took him up on it.
  • I don't know whether to take my parents up on their offer of a loan to buy my car.

'to take someone up on something' can also mean to ask for an explanation of what they have said or done.

  • You should have taken him up on it. You can't let him say things like that.
  • I took her up on what she said because I didn't think it was true.

'to take up with someone' means to start a relationship with someone.

  • She's taken up with Johnny who is almost 5 years older than her.
  • He took up with a rough gang of boys who lived just down the street.

'to take something upon yourself' means to decide to do something without asking first.

  • She took it upon herself. If she had asked me, I'd have done it.
  • Harry has taken it upon himself to organise everything without talking to us first.


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