When I should use "to get", "to take" and "to pick"?
Who answer can put a few examples?


  • Welcome to ELL! Get and take have a very large number of uses, some of which actually overlap and many of which stand in contrast to each other. So this is really too broad a question to be answered in our format. I suggest that you add a handful of examples to your question that show exactly where your confusion lies - that will narrow the question to something we can answer. Mar 13, 2014 at 15:20

2 Answers 2


To "get" is to acquire.

To "take" is to choose those things that you want, and to make them yours.

To "pick" is to choose perhaps somewhat more selectively than "take" as listed above, but the word doesn't imply that you are now in possession of the thing, only that you have chosen it.

I only mention definitions that can be reasonably contrasted with one another. All of these words have more meanings than I have listed here.

  • I understood. What is the best form in those cases? I get my wallet at home. I take my wallet at home. I pick my wallet at home. I think is: I take my wallet at home. Am I correct?
    – PoLIVoX
    Mar 13, 2014 at 18:08
  • No, none of those lines actually work. Instead of wallet, try it with donuts (cheap pastries). By the way "get" won't work, try "I've got" instead (same word, different tense). Mar 13, 2014 at 18:15
  • I have (got) my wallet at home. (After being wrongly arrested) May I take my wallet now? Are you serious? (to the police) You want me to pick my own wallet from the pile? (Sorry, like I said, wallet isn't the best subject for this exercise) As for as the game (exercise) is concerned, consider more than one tense. Mar 13, 2014 at 18:28
  • @PoLIVoX I'm sorry that I couldn't have been more help tonight. Your question is far more complex than my answer. I hope you come back. I want to help, and so do others here. Mar 13, 2014 at 19:03

Very often, you can use them interchangeably, and sometimes not. This is because they have overlapping but not synonymous meanings. Get simply means to come into possession of, to acquire. Take also means acquire, but it also has the connotation of doing something to cause yourself to come into possession; something you take doesn't just drop into your lap, so to speak. Pick means to select, and not necessarily to acquire.

So, suppose you went to the apple tree in your front yard, pulled some apples off of the tree, and brought them into your house. You could use any of the three verbs in this case. (The act of pulling fruit off of a tree is always "picking", but you still took them after you picked them, and you still got them by taking them.) However, if someone gave you the apples, you would probably use get; "take" would have the sense of "did not refuse the gift" in this case.

If Aunt Sally gives you a bag of apples and you bring them home, this conversation could take place:

Hey! I just got some apples!
How did you get them?
Aunt Sally gave them to me and I took them home.

If Farmer Joe drives by with a truckload of apples, and makes you a gift of four of the best of them, and you bring them home, this conversation could take place:

Hey! I just got some apples!
How did you get them?
Farmer Joe said to pick the four best ones from his truck and take them home.

  • I don't think that take necessarily has the concept of choice associated with it, except of course you can generally choose to take or not take something. But someone can hand you an apple, and you can take it. Furthermore, you can take a licking, even though presumably you didn't necessarily choose to do so.
    – BobRodes
    Mar 13, 2014 at 15:50

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