TAKE TO – phrasal verb – meanings and examples

The English phrasal verb TAKE TO has the following meanings:

1. Take to = to make a new habit of something

(transitive) When someone starts to do something new often, usually because they enjoy doing it.

  • My cat has taken to sleeping on the kitchen counter.
  • I have taken to wearing the color yellow on Fridays.
  • Caleb has really taken to gardening, hasn’t he?

Notice how the verb after take to is in the gerund form (which is verb -ing) … sleeping, wearing, eating.
That is because we have preposition + gerund.
If a verb comes after a preposition, it is in the gerund form.
The preposition here is TO so if a verb comes next, it needs to be in the gerund.

2. Take to = to develop an ability for something

(transitive) to adapt to something new or develop a new ability for something.

Notice that when there is a verb after take to, it is in the gerund form (= verb-ing)

  • He took to swimming very quickly.
  • Even though she had never played an instrument before, she took to the piano with ease.

3. Take to = to move towards or go from a place

(transitive – informal) to move towards something or leave a place, sometimes because of danger or to escape.

  • The birds took to the air before the cat reached them.
  • The passengers took to the lifeboats when the crew said the ship was sinking.

Take to – Summary Chart

TAKE TO - Meanings and examples of this English Phrasal Verb

Lesson tags: Phrasal Verbs, Take, To
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