TAKE APART – phrasal verb – meanings and examples

The English phrasal verb TAKE APART has the following meanings:

1. Take (something) apart = to disassemble something

(transitive) This phrasal verb is used when you dismantle something into its component pieces. It is when a machine (or device etc.) is separated into different parts, sometimes in order to find out what is wrong with it. Disassemble and dismantle are synonyms of take apart.

  • The mechanic had to take the motor apart to see what was making the noise.
  • They had to take the bed apart because it wouldn’t fit through the door.
  • She took her laptop apart to see if she could fix it.
  • When you are in the army, you learn how to take your gun apart very quickly.
  • I took my bike apart to give it a good clean.
  • He easily took his watch apart but he couldn’t put it back together again.

2. Take apart = to analyze and criticize (something or someone)

(transitive – informal) This is used when somebody talks about the different parts of something (such as of a novel or movie) in order to criticize it. The thing or person is usually analyzed in an effort to discover flaws or weaknesses.

  • The presidential candidate’s proposal was taken apart in the debate.
  • The critics took the new play apart and left terrible reviews.
  • My teacher took my essay apart by saying all the things that were wrong with it.
  • My boss took apart the budget I had made by saying it was too costly for the company.

3. Take apart = to easily defeat someone or a team

(transitive – informal) It is another way of saying to thrash someone or to beat someone severely.

  • Woodward United took the other team apart in last night’s cup game.
  • We lost by a huge margin. Their team really took us apart.
  • The All Blacks took the Wallabies apart in the classic Trans-Tasman rugby match.

Take apart – Summary Chart

TAKE AFTER - Meanings and examples of this English Phrasal Verb

Lesson tags: Apart, Phrasal Verbs, Take
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