To Take – How to talk about jobs and journey times in English

We use the verb to take to ask about jobs and journey times in English. To find out how much time is required, we ask questions like How long does it take? and How long will it take? And to say how long, we say It takes…

To Take Video Script

To compare the verb to take with the verb to last, click here.

So what do you think of my proposal?
Um, I’d like to think about it for a while.
Of course. Take as long as you like. So what do you think?

‘Take’ is an irregular verb and we use it to talk about the length of time we need to do something – the time that’s required.

I want some coffee.
OK, but let’s work on this schedule first.
Yeah. How long will it take to shoot the video?
Two days?
Yes, two days.
It’ll take longer than that.
Three days?
A week.
How long will it take to edit the video?
About three days.
No, it’ll take a week.
Jay, why don’t you go and get a cup of coffee.
Rachel and I will do this.
OK.
How long will it take him to get a cup of coffee?
Dunno.
Let’s hurry up and get this finished.

Use ‘take’ with ‘how long’ to ask about the time jobs require. You can ask about the future, about the present and about the past. Now, of course, some jobs don’t take long.

These are dirty. It doesn’t take a second to put them in the dishwasher.
Then it won’t take you long.

And then there are other things that can take a while.

Oh you made it!
Yeah, it took me a while to find a place to park.
Well, come on in.
This water’s taking a long time to boil.
That’s because we’re watching the kettle.

Hi Bill.
Hi Howie.
Hello mom. Still working on your PTA accounts?
Yes.
Books balance?
They will.
It takes a lot of time, doesn’t it? Why do you do it?
Howie, this is my job.

We often use ‘take’ to talk about journey times – the time required to get from one place to another.

How long will it take me to get to Washington?
About four hours, so you should be there around six.
OK.
Bye then darling.
Bye bye. Drive safe.

It takes twenty seven days, seven hours, forty three minutes and eleven point six seconds for the moon to travel around the earth.

Don’t stop here. This video is part of a set of three videos. Check the comments below to find links to the other videos.

It took me ages to find this shirt for Jay. He’s going to look so cute in it. Well, I love it.

Click here to see this video with a clickable transcript.
To compare the verb to take with the verb to last, click here.
To see more vocabulary videos, click here.

5 thoughts on “To Take – How to talk about jobs and journey times in English

  • February 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm
    Permalink

    hi vicki and jay you have produced good videos so far.i have not under stand when do we use” of course”
    i am from India.i just started speaking English.could you produce videos about “of course” i would be glad,if you produced what i asked.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2017 at 8:11 am
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      Great to meet you saraswathi. And thank you for this suggestion!

      Reply
    • March 10, 2017 at 12:04 pm
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      We will do our best saraswathi

      Reply
  • May 20, 2017 at 12:55 pm
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    Hi there! I am new here to these marvellous videos you are exerting much time doing. Thanks a million for your contributions to Learning English.
    I have a question, Why did you use “drive safe” instead of ‘drive safely’?
    regards,
    Ahmed

    Reply
    • May 22, 2017 at 3:10 am
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      Great to meet you, Ahmed. Well spotted! ‘Drive safe’ is a very idiomatic phrase. Drive safely would be more grammatically correct. But you’ll also hear ‘Drive safe’. Why? Ah dear. English is a living and changing language and not always logical!

      Reply

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