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