Learning and mastering how to use all the different English phrasal verbs can be a challenging task. That’s why we’ve designed a new series to help you—and to make it more fun! Remember, learning English grammar doesn’t have to be boring and tedious! In this series, we use clips from your favorite English-language movies and TV shows to help you memorize common English phrasal verbs and learn to use them in context.


English Phrasal Verbs with “Take”

First things first, what is a phrasal verb?

A phrasal verb is a verb that’s paired with another word that modifies its meaning. Not clear?

Have a look at the table below, which introduces several different English phrasal verbs using “to take,” their definitions, and an example sentence. It will help you see the difference between several English phrasal verbs with “take,” and understand how to use them in context.

Then, watch Lizzie’s video below to test your knowledge! This quiz features Phoebe and Rachel from Friends, a famous American TV show (that is awesome for learners!). Listen to the scene, then use what you know about phrasal verbs with “take” to decide which one is correct in the context provided.

to taketo pick something up, to put something in your handHe took the plate from the table.
to take off1. to move from a starting point; to leave
2. to remove, as in clothing
1a. I have to take off, I’m running late!
1b. Our plane takes off at 9:00.
2. He took off his muddy shoes before entering the house.
to take outto bring someone or something to another location1. My sister took me out for dinner last night.
(also a noun: in the US, to order food from a restaurant that you will eat at home)2. (US): We get takeout from our favorite restaurant every Friday night.
to take awayto revoke or to reclaim something from someone1. When I was little, my parents would take away my video games if I got in trouble.
(also a noun: in the UK, to order food from a restaurant that you will eat at home)2. (UK) Fish and chips is a classic take-away food in England.
to take backto withdraw something that was said or done previouslyI take back what I said about her yesterday; it was unfair.
to take onto agree to do somethingShe took on a lot of responsibilities with her new job.
to take overto claim authority, control, or management of a situationCan you take over this meeting? I'm getting a phone call.
to take afterto resemble a family member, in appearance or personalityMy daughter takes after her mother.
to take in1. to fully absorb or understand something
2. to accomodate someone
1. They stood quietly, taking in the scene.
2. Our country took in many refugees during the war.
to take apartto dismantleWhen the clock broke, he took it apart to find out what was wrong.


Watch: English Phrasal Verbs with “Take” – Take Off VS Take Out

You can watch Lizzie take you through the phrasal verbs “take off” and “take out” in more detail below, or on our YouTube channel. The video is in English, but there are subtitles available in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Just click on the “Settings” gear at the bottom right to turn them on. You can also change the playback speed if you’d like.

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Activity: Video Transcript

If you can’t watch the video right now, you can still do Lizzie’s exercise. Read the transcript from the scene below, and fill in the blank with the correct phrasal verb. Once you’ve made your best guess, highlight the black rectangle with your cursor to reveal the answer! Good luck!

Context: In this scene, Phoebe has found a positive pregnancy test in Monica’s bathroom. She and Rachel are in shock. They wonder whether Chandler, Monica’s boyfriend, is aware of it.


Phoebe: I know! Monica is going to have a baby! Hey! Can this count as her “something new”?¹

Rachel: Oh my God!

Phoebe: Do you think this is why Chandler _________?


Hint: If you need some help, we’ll give you two options. The answer is either TO TAKE OFF or TO TAKE OUT. You can always refer back to the table to review the definitions for these two phrasal verbs if you need to.

Answer: TOOK OFF; the women believe that Chandler might have left town suddenly because he was scared that Monica was pregnant.


¹In traditional American weddings, the bride wears or carries “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” on her wedding day.


Take It Further

If you enjoyed this video, keep an eye out on our blog and YouTube channel for the next video in the series! In the meantime, we recommend that you also check out: