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I think it is a good time for you to leave.

or

considering that we can say the following which is correct:

I'll take your leave now. Bye.

can I say:

I think it is a good time for you to take a leave.

Basically I want this person to leave and I don't want to order him to leave. I just want to remind him that it is quite late so he should consider leaving now.

What are the differences between the above sentences. What to say it in a better way?

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2 Answers 2

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Someone can either leave or take a leave, but they are fundamentally different in meaning.

leave alone means "go away from a place" (or, figuratively, from a person).

Leave in take a leave is short for "leave of absence", aka a break or holiday from work.
So no option in your use case.

Unfortunately, most varieties of

You may / should / might /... leave now.

although technically correct may come across as somewhat rude for native speakers. But getting the message across without breaking the unwritten rules of hospitality is a dilemma even native speakers face. I recommend looking towards Miss Manners & co. for advice:

"Oh my, it's getting late - I shouldn't keep you any longer!

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I think it is a good time for your to leave

'leave' here is a verb. This means you are asking or suggesting that person to go away from the place for whatsoever reason.

I'll take your leave now

...is very much Indian I guess. I avoid it and also suggest others the same. This means you are 'asking permission' to leave the place.

I think it is good time for you to take a leave

no, this means something different. The word 'leave' here serves as a 'noun'. 'Taking a leave' and 'Taking [someone's] leave' don't mean the same. As I said, the latter is Indian and creates an ambiguity (who's 'leave' actually it is!).

When you 'take a leave', officially, you put a notification and there's a process to follow as in companies.

In your context, imagine there's a girl and it is quite late. She has to go far to her home and that's the reason, you are suggesting her to leave so that she can reach early. In this case,

I think you should/may leave now. It's getting late.

...is an unambiguous way to convey the message. Again, as I said, if you are talking to a native speaker, 'taking your leave' may sound strange to them.


A little trick that might work. If you are confused, ask yourself whether or not the 'leave' you are using is countable? If it is countable, you are talking about 'taking a leave' which means a 'day off' or whatever (that way, the person might have taken four leaves in a month!). If you cannot count, you are simply using a verb as in he left the office.

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  • In other words, "taking a leave" means taking off from work, with advance notice, for an extended period (longer than a vacation/holiday). Jun 1, 2015 at 6:58
  • If you say, 'You may leave', you are telling that person to quit the place I don't think "quit" is the best word to use here. That implies resigning from the job.
    – DJMcMayhem
    Jun 1, 2015 at 7:07
  • @DJMcMayhem oh yes, corrected. Tell me something better if you still feel so! :)
    – Maulik V
    Jun 1, 2015 at 7:12
  • have edited the question @DJMcMayhem and OP Jun 1, 2015 at 7:41

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