I've heard these forms for the same purposes, and I'm not sure what's more natural since most of these speakers are not really native English speakers. Which of these are correct?

Friend: Do you have the complete homework?

I: Yes, I do. You can take it "off"/ "from" / "away from" me today afternoon.

The choices are:

To take something from someone


To take something away from someone


To take something off someone"

  • In the future, try to avoid abbreviations such as "sth". Many learners (as well as native speakers) may be confused.
    – Tashus
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


To take something away from someone means to remove the thing from their grasp or control, so that they can no longer wield it or use it.

She took the scissors away from the toddler.

The judge took his drivers license away for a year when he was found guilty of drunken driving.

To take something from someone can mean to receive it from them as they offer it to you, or to forcibly remove it from their grasp or control, similar to "take away".

To receive an offered item:

She took a canape from the platter offered to her by the catering staff.

Here, take this umbrella from me. I have an extra one in the car.

To remove forcibly:

Mom! Billy took my coloring book from me and he won't give it back.

The State took their houses from them under eminent domain and demolished their neighborhood so that an automobile factory could be built there.

  • Take something off someone is a colloquial way of saying take it from them - except when it is meant literally, like taking a hat off their head. Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 16:52
  • I am not sure what you mean by "take" in "take it from them". Do you mean "obtain" or "wrest"? If "obtain", I'm familiar with that colloquial usage of off in combination with "get" but not with "take". How did you get your hands on those bootleg DVDs? -- I got them off Mike.
    – TimR
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 18:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .