Learn English – Difference between “get” and “take”


What is the difference between "get" and "take"? Both are used to describe receiving something. By intuition I mostly guess which one to use, but would like to know some rule which will stick in my head.

Best Answer

It's hard to say. Generally, take denotes an active action, like "I took his cheese," while get denotes a passive one, like "I got my paycheck today." Besides that, you just have to memorize which one to use where.

Examples of take:

  • I take a shower.
  • I take it that you're going. (Meaning: From what I can tell, you are going.)
  • I take my pills daily. (Action of consuming.)
  • I took your cheese. (Physical removal of an object.)
  • The main point I took away from that was... (understanding a concept)
  • I took her to the opera. (Conducting someone.)
  • I took up doing cocaine. (to start a habit)

Examples of get:

  • I got my paycheck. (Received from someone else giving it to you.)
  • I get you. (As in, I understand you).
  • I didn't get that, please repeat it. (As in, I didn't hear).
  • Get out of here.
  • Get dressed. Take your time. (From PyroTiger).
  • Get up!
  • Get a life.

I could go on. You can check dictionary.com's entries on take and get for more.