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.

  • Reading for my courses takes up a lot of my time.
  • Much of my day is taken up by meetings at work.
  • The new sofa takes up too much of my living room space.
  • All my time is taken up with looking after the kids.

2. Take up = to start a new hobby

(transitive) When someone begins a new hobby to do in their leisure time. Synonyms are begin and commence.

  • She has taken up knitting.
  • He took up playing baseball at a young age and now plays for the Boston Red Sox.
  • What new sport should I take up in my free time?

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 dress is too long. I think I will take it up.

4. Take up = to resume

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

  • Now, we will take up where we left on page 89.
  • The sequel takes up where the first movie finished.

5. Take up = to address an issue

(transitive) to speak to someone about something 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.

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

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

  • I’ll take you up on your offer to help me tomorrow.
  • 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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