We expect to take delivery of our new car next week.

The above is an example from the Cambridge Dictionary, I would like to know “why have we not used take the delivery?” We are talking about a specific delivery here i.e., the delivery of a new car, then why not use “the delivery” in the example?

1 Answer 1


"Taking delivery of" is an idiomatic compound verb meaning to receive something being delivered.

Placing "the" in front of "delivery" treats it as a noun. Delivery can be a noun in some contexts, but not this one. For example, we might say "He took the delivery to the back room." That would be used if we did not know or want to say what was being delivered. In the context above we are explicitly saying what is being delivered, not using "delivery" as a noun.

  • I politely disagree. As you said “delivery can be a noun in some contexts”, I just want to say that “delivery” is always a noun (which also means “delivery” can never be a verb), whereas, “deliver” is always a verb. Sep 28, 2020 at 8:05
  • True, .but take delivery of is a phrasal verb Sep 28, 2020 at 8:09
  • @KateBunting ok, so, does saying “take the delivery of something” make sense? Is it grammatically correct? Sep 28, 2020 at 8:13
  • 1
    It is not idiomatic English - we don't say it that way. Sep 28, 2020 at 8:20

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