The take something from something mean exectly the same as understand from something? For example:

No that you have watched the movie, I would like to know what you took from it.

  • In this context, yes. Take a look at the 22nd entry from this dictionary. – Norbert Oct 13 '19 at 18:53

You are right, to "take something away from something" means "to learn something from an experience or activity."

"Take away" is a phrasal verb, often used to mean "understanding of a particular issue"

Cambridge dictionary defines "take" (verb) as

to understand something in a particular way

There are a few different ways "take" can be used in related phrases. Here are a few examples:

  1. She gave a nod, which we took to mean that she agreed. (The "nod" was understood as a sign of agreement.)

  2. If there is one thing that people should take away from Black Tuesday, it is that we need regulators. (The learning here is that regulators are needed.)

  3. What do you hope people will take away from this? (What is it that you wish people learn or understand from this?)

  4. The take away from this series is that James Harden is a choker; he will never win a championship. (What we understand from watching this 6-game series is that James will always choke and never win a title)

In your example

Now that you have watched the movie, I would like to know what you took from it.

the person is essentially asking "What did you learn [or understand] from the movie?"

Edit: Note that the "took" in "He took my book and ran" has a different meaning, and my answer is specific to OP's context.

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  • In the particular context of this question, yes. But I took something away from the baby does not necessarily mean I understood something from the baby. In fact that's unlikely. It could mean, for instance, I took candy away from the baby. – Jason Bassford Oct 14 '19 at 6:06
  • @JasonBassford Yes, of course. I should have clarified that my answer is specific to OP's context. – AIQ Oct 14 '19 at 6:09

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