TAKE UP – phrasal verb – meanings and examples

The English phrasal verb TAKE UP has the following meanings:

1. Take up = to fill or occupy time or space

(transitive) When a task or duty occupies much of your time, or when a person or item occupies space.

  • The meeting took up the entire morning.
  • The new sofa takes up a lot of space in my living room.
  • Most of my day is taken up by looking after the kids.
  • I have hundreds of videos that take up a lot of space on my computer.

2. Take up = to start a new hobby or interest

(transitive) When someone begins a new hobby or other activity in their free time.

  • Mike has taken up running to lose some weight.
  • She has taken up knitting to help her relax.
  • He took up karate at a young age and now he’s an expert.
  • What new sport should I take up next?

3. Take up = to make a piece of clothing shorter

(transitive) to make a piece of clothing or fabric, normally a skirt or the legs of pants, shorter.

  • She asked for her skirt to be taken up above the knee.
  • We had to take up the curtains so they wouldn’t drag along the ground.
  • My trousers are too long. I need to take them up.

4. Take up = to resume (after an interruption)

(transitive) to continue with something after an interruption or to continue from where someone else had finished.

  • Let’s take up where we left off.
  • The sequel takes up where the first movie finished.
  • We will take up from where your teacher finished yesterday. Open your book to page 52.

5. Take up = to address an issue

(transitive) to speak to someone about something (usually negative) to see if they can help with that situation.

  • I would like to take this up with the manager.
  • We should take this matter up with the city council.
  • They can’t let this problem continue. They’ll have to take it up with their boss.

6. Take (somebody) up on something = to accept

(transitive) to accept an invitation, a challenge, an offer or a bet from someone.

  • I’ll take you up on your offer to help me tomorrow.
  • Do you think you can beat me in a race? I’ll take you up on that challenge.

Take up – Summary Chart

TAKE UP - Meanings and examples of this English Phrasal Verb

Lesson tags: Phrasal Verbs, Take, Up
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