Difference between GET and TAKE

English learners quite often get confused about the usage of the verbs get and take because it’s not always easy to decide which one to use. Do you get a bus or take a bus? Do you get a look at something or take a look?  In this lesson, we’ll try to clear things out and learn the difference between get and take.

First, lets’ look at the meanings of these verbs


The verb take has several meanings:

1)  to hold or pick something

  • He took some cheese out of the fridge.
  • He took her hand and kissed it.
  • Would you please take my bag while I open the car door?

2) to remove something

  • John took off the lid from the jar. 
  • Sara took my telephone by mistake so I couldn’t call you.
  •  Simon took the dishes to the kitchen.

3) to accept

  • She took the present from his hands and thanked him.
  • You should take cash. I don’t think they take credit cards in the club.
  • I’d be glad to take the position if they offer it to me.

4) to cause someone/something to move somewhere

  • The path took Alice to a small cottage.
  • Her hard work took her to the manager’s position.
  • Their journey took them to a beautiful Mediterranean island.
Three-part phrasal verbs in English
Difference between GET and TAKE


1) to receive something

  • I got lots of presents for my birthday.
  • They don’t get much rain in tropical countries.
  • John gets lots of pleasure from his garden.

2) to buy/obtain

  • How about we get Terry a watch for his graduation?
  • He went to a restaurant to get some takeaway sandwiches.
  • How much money do you expect to get for that old bicycle?

3) to become

  • When she heard about the accident, Mary got upset.
  • It’s getting dark, we’d better go home.
  • As he was getting older, he was changing his attitudes. 

4) to bring

  • Ryan had to return home to get his car keys.
  • Do you want me to get you something – tea or coffee?
  • I’ll get the kids from school while you organize lunch.

5) to arrive

  • By the time we got in Brighton, the rain had already stopped.
  • I doubt we’ll get there before midnight.
  • It was a tiring day, so as soon as they got home, the Smiths went to bed.

Moreover, both verbs form numerous collocations, idioms and all kinds of phrases which we need to learn by heart just like any other vocabulary.

Collocations with TAKE
  • Maria always takes shower in the evening.
  • John is taking me to the cinema on Saturday.
  • When Mr Brown retired, Mr Bradley took over the company.
  • How long does it take you to get to work?
  • Maya is taking Math lessons before the exam.
  • If we are not too busy, we usually take a break around eleven.
  • The doctor took my temperature.
  • People in Thailand don’t shake hands, they take a bow.
  • This summer, I’m taking a holiday in August. We’re going to Spain.
  • Simona always takes a nap in the afternoon.
  • I took a photo of a beautiful butterfly this morning. Look!
  • I think I’ll take your advice and try to lose weight.
Collocations with GET
  • I get a newsletter from this website every week.
  • They got married five years ago and now they’re getting divorced.
  • Can you believe that Samatha got fired?
  • Days are getting shorter in autumn. 
  • I’ll call you as soon as I get home.
  • My grandpa is getting old and he doesn’t see very well.
  • We were running quickly and got out of breath.
  • I’m trying to get enough sleep so I can keep up with my work.
  • Let’s get together on Saturday! We have lots to catch up on.
  • My mum always gets worried if I don’t call her.
  • I got an email from that company. They offer me a job.
  • In case you get hungry, there is some food in the fridge.
Difference between GET and TAKE
Difference between GET and TAKE
Extra vocabulary: idioms with take and get

Take a rain check

Meaning: to politely refuse an offer.

Would you mind if I take a rain check on that party? I’m really tired.

I would love to go on a picnic with you but I’ll have to take a rain check on that because I have a lot of work to do.

Take a walk down memory lane

Meaning:  to remember pleasant moments from the past.

My mother took a walk down memory lane yesterday. She told us how she met our father.

I met up with Brian last weekend. Since we haven’t seen each other for quite some time, we took a walk down memory lane and remembered our school days. It was such fun!

Get on like a house on fire

Meaning: If you say that two people get on like a house on fire, it means that they like each other a lot and that they become friends very quickly.

I’ve never thought the two of them would become friends. Since they’re both crazy about football, they got on like a house on fire.

After our excursion to Greece, we got on like a house on fire.

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