Could you tell me if there is a difference between the phrase take the time to do something and take the time out to do something? In the 20th episode of the 9th season of Friends, they used take the time out to do something. Here it is:

Charlie: It's a... It's good to meet you! Thank you so much for taking the time out to show me around.

Ross: Oh, no, it's no big deal, I mean, if I weren't doing this I'd just, you know, be at the gym working out.

How the meaning would change if Charlie omitted the out?

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, they mean the same thing.

Using “out” signifies that one is taking time “out” of some other thing they could have been doing, e.g., they might have been busy working.

Omitting “out” acknowledges only the time, but including it also acknowledges that the time may have been spent on other things. For this reason, including “out” can come across a little more emphatic and grateful, whereas omitting it can sound more reserved but also more graceful/formal (in the sense that you are not considering/intruding on what the person may otherwise have been doing - it would probably sound a little rude to include “out” when speaking to an authority figure).

Including “out” is, generally speaking, shorthand for saying, “taking time out of your own schedule/plans/life.”

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