To take away can mean: to get a particular message or piece of information from something you read or are told.


  • What I took away from his talk is that going to university is definitely worth it.

My question is that whether normally people use "take away" or just "take" without "away"?

Because I know that both simple and phrasal verbs are used in this sense, but I doubt if one of them is more common or somehow more informal...

i.e. in my provided example above, substituting the sentence with the following sentence will change the message?

  • What I took from his talk is that going to university is definitely worth it.

For me, both of the sentences convey the same meaage.

Please let me know about them.

  • 1
    Both are unusual meanings, and do not feature in the major dictionaries. I'd be inclined to use the word 'got' rather than either of these two. An Ngram search produced so few references that it's hardly reliable, but 'got' came out marginally ahead and 'took' scored no hits at all. books.google.com/ngrams/… – JavaLatte May 11 at 8:59
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    I find nothing unusual with those phrases. You can also say The takeaway from his talk is . . . Speaking only personally, I would use what I took away. it sounds more figurative. As opposed to what I took, which sounds more like what would be used if you had stolen the presentation notes (or something similar). – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 11 at 10:04
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    Yes, my take on his talk is also natural. (I'd prefer that to my takeaway from his talk, but I've heard both.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 11 at 10:42
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    What did you take on his behaviour doesn't make sense to me. But What is your take on his behaviour? would be fine. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 11 at 11:56
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    Takeaway, the noun, and to take away are very commonly used in speech among young people in North America. But they are colloquial and somewhat informal. So Google Ngrams, which is based on written texts, might not tell you much about them. – Eddie Kal May 11 at 15:12

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