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