Please have a look on my three sets below:


a) I take the liberty to disagree.
b) I venture to disagree.


a) I take the liberty to say that...
b) I venture to say that...


a) I would like to take the liberty to say that...
b) I would like to venture that...

I think in all of my sets below 'b' versions sound incorrect. Am I right?

  • 1
    Why you think they seem incorrect? Why you think all A's are correct? Did you check the difference between 'liberty' and 'venture'? What confused you?
    – Maulik V
    Apr 17 '14 at 6:42

Interesting question. I'll provide my answer in five parts.

“Taking the liberty”

First of all, there's the notion of taking the liberty to do something. It doesn't sound wrong, but it doesn't sound contemporary, either. I looked for usages in Google books, and found plenty of hits, but most were in more antiquated contexts. So I went to Ngrams, and found this very interesting result:

enter image description here

I asked myself, "If 'I took the liberty to disagree' sounds old fashioned, what would I say today?" The first thing I thought of was:

I have the right to disagree.

which yields another interesting Ngram:

enter image description here

It looks to me like, as talk of "taking liberties" waned, talk about "having rights" was on the rise – at least from an English perspective.

“Venturing to disagree”

Then there's your question about venture. The phrase venture to disagree suits me just fine, particularly when you want to emphasize that a little disagreement might be surprising. (I think dare to disagree might be more appropriate in more dangerous circumstances; in other words, I might venture to disagree with a coworker, but dare to disagree with a dictator).

Providing context in a question

In any case, I'd venture to say that main reason your phrases "sound incorrect" is that you didn't provide ample context to let them sound correct.

Consider this example:

I want to remind you that...

Is that something a native speaker would say? Does it sound right, or wrong?

Truth be told, it's hard to say for sure, because we have so little to go on. Look what happens when I set a context instead:

Suppose a group of teenagers are causing a commotion at the library. The librarian approaches them, and says:

I want to remind you that we expect patrons to be quiet in a library.

Is that acceptable English?

With the additional context, the question becomes much easier to analyze and answer.

“Venture to Say”

Now, back to your example:

I venture to say that...

Does that sound acceptable, or awkward? Well, I don't think I would ever say to my friend at a rugby match:

I venture to say that the home team is having trouble moving the ball.

(That sounds too stilted for the rugby stands). However, I might say to my boss:

I was a little nervous giving bad news to the manager, but I ventured to hint that the project might not be on-time.

I would like to venture that...

That one sounds off. You could say:

I would like to say that our research might be going in the wrong direction.


I would venture that our research might be going in the wrong direction.

but "would like to venture" seems like too many layers of indirectness.

In conclusion

Lastly, a quote from NOAD:

venture (v.) 1. dare to do something or go somewhere that may be dangerous or unpleasant
2. dare to do or say something that may be considered audacious (often used as a polite expression of hesitation or apology)

Context is everything. Check the meaning, check published usages. Then, if the word fits, venture to use it.

  • Thank you very much. No one had answered me that extensively up to now. You are absolutely right. I will do that from now on @J.R. ;)
    – A-friend
    Apr 18 '14 at 2:32
  • Great research, but you missed the more common wording "take/took the liberty of (gerund)". This is the amended N-gram.
    – Junuxx
    Nov 13 '15 at 3:44
  • Also interesting, but off-topic, is the comparison between "have the right to" and "have a right to".
    – Junuxx
    Nov 13 '15 at 3:47

Yes, I agree. Also, in the 'A' versions, replacing 'to' with 'for' would make more sense.

'To' is used when someone or something moves toward, or in the direction of something. So, in these examples,

I take the liberty to disagree. 

I take the liberty to say that... 

I don’t find something moving in any direction.

You can better emphasize it using ‘For’, since you are indicating something.

I take the liberty for saying that.

I take the liberty for disagreeing.

I request other members to provide a better explanation.

  • 1
    Welcome to ELL! This better goes as a comment Bharat. When you answer, it should be explanatory.
    – Maulik V
    Apr 17 '14 at 5:54
  • @MaulikV thanks, but It says I should have 50 reputations to comment. How do I express myself then?
    – Bharat
    Apr 17 '14 at 6:02
  • Ah, I wasn't aware of that. Well, in that case, you may simply make this comment as an answer by explaining it why you agree with OP (Original Poster) and why replace 'to' with 'for'?
    – Maulik V
    Apr 17 '14 at 6:08
  • @downvoter, though mouse-clicking is fun, it's better if we explain and justify the downvoting especially to a person who is very new to this board. Just to encourage. (To the O.P.): dictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/… Check out these examples and you may edit your answer. All the best!
    – Maulik V
    Apr 17 '14 at 6:33
  • I didn't downvote, but I would like to point out that the information in this answer is not correct. To certainly does not only apply in case motion is mentioned, it has lots of other uses. Substituting "for" in those sentences makes them sound awkward, non-standard, and a lot of people will feel they are " wrong".
    – oerkelens
    Apr 17 '14 at 7:21

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