It’s a big decision to take.

It’s a big decision to make.

Is there a difference in the meaning between the mentioned sentences or do they have absolutely the same meaning? The first one I have in my book, but the second one is more common in NGram.

1 Answer 1


The periods on the end of your examples are significant. As you have the text -- i.e. with the periods -- I would never use the first form, and I don't recall ever seeing it anywhere else either. Decisions are things we make, not take.

However, a quick dip into the Ngram results for the first form shows that it is often not being used in the way you present it, with a period after "take". Instead, they are phrases where the sentence continues after "to take", and those words are referring to the words following them, not to "decision". Some examples:

It is a big decision to take a life.

It was a big decision to take out a boss.

... a big decision — to take an advanced placement class...

Now there are a few Ngram examples where the usage is exactly as you have it, but I'd say those are minor errors, or at least unorthodox. And in those cases, "decision to take" means exactly the same as "decision to make".

  • 1
    "taking a decision" is common in British parlance, whereas "making a decision" is more common in the US. What is the difference between 'make decision' and 'take decision'? - ELU SE Aug 5 at 20:34
  • Some UK speakers might use "making a decision" to refer either the actual moment or sometimes to the process leading up to it - research, discussions, thought, etcto prepare for the decision itself: "The family took several days to make a decision." However, "taking a decision" would refer only to the moment itself. Aug 5 at 20:39
  • 2
    Ultimately I think you can use either variant in either case, and any distinction is hazy at best. Therefore opinion based. Aug 5 at 23:17
  • 2
    I don't see anything remotely unorthodox about "It was a big decision to make/take". Aug 6 at 5:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .