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What Is The Past Tense of Take? The Comprehensive Guide

Take in the past tense can be a little tricky for students to learn as it does change form quite dramatically even for an irregular English verb. We have the full guide further below to help you understand these changes and the quite bite sized answer right below if you are just doing a quick check.

The past tense of “take” is “took” in simple past form. In other forms, it’s expressed as “have/has taken” for present perfect, “was/were taking” for past continuous, and “had taken” for past perfect.

Understanding the past tense forms of irregular verbs like “take” is a huge step forward for both native English speakers and those learning English as a second language. This comprehensive guide will delve into the past tense of “take,” its conjugation, and examples to help you enhance either your or those of your students grammar and English skills.

what is the past tense of take

What is the Past Tense of “Take”?

The verb “take” is used to convey the action of grasping or seizing something and carrying or leading it somewhere.

The simple past tense of “take” is “took,” and the past participle is “taken.” Although there are other forms we will also explore here.

Take (verb):

(1) To grasp or seize something with the intention of moving it or carrying it

(2) To lead or escort someone to a place

InfinitiveSimple PastPast Participle
to taketooktaken

Using “take” in the Past Tense: Conjugation Table for the past tense verb ‘take’

The table below lists the most common way the verb ‘take’ would be used in english tenses and you can use it as an easy referral guide as you need to. We have covered simple, present perfect, present continuous as well as the infinitive.

Table 1: Conjugation table for the Irregular verb ‘take.

 PronounInfinitiveSimple PastPresent PerfectPresent Continuous
Itaketookhave takenare taking
You (sing.)taketookhave takenare taking
He/She/Ittakestookhas takenis taking
Wetaketookhave takenare taking
You (pl.)taketookhave takenare taking
Theytaketookhave takenare taking

Example Sentences with “Take”

Often the best way to learn, or at least remember how english grammar is used is to see it used in examples. So we have given 2 or 3 sentences with each of the bolded tenses and with its two meanings ( take can mean more than one thing) to give you and idea on how to use the past ( and present) tense of ‘take’ in both its meanings. We will follow with the tense forms as well.

(1) To grasp or seize something with the intention of moving it or carrying it

  • She took the book off the shelf and started reading
  • He took the suitcase and carried it to the car

(2) To lead or escort someone to a place

  • They took the visitors on a tour of the museum
  • She took her friend to the best restaurant in town

Focus: How to Use “Take” in the Past Tense

To gain a better understanding of the verb “take” and how to use it in the past tense, let’s explore some example sentences in various forms: We cover the tenses below.

  • Simple past
  • Present perfect
  • Past continuous
  • Past perfect

Simple Past of “Take”

  • I took the last cookie from the jar
  • She took the bus to work today
  • They took a walk around the park after dinner

Present Perfect of “Take”

  • I have taken a new job in another city
  • We haven’t taken a vacation in years
  • She has taken up painting as a hobby

Past Continuous of “Take”

  • I was taking a shower when the phone rang
  • Were you taking notes during the lecture?
  • They were taking a break when the boss walked in

Past Perfect of “Take”

  • I had taken the medication before I realized it was expired
  • They had taken the wrong turn, which led them to a dead end
  • We had taken precautions, but the storm still caused damage

Understanding the Verb “Take”

The verb “take” hails from the Old English “tacan,” meaning “to seize or capture.” It’s a versatile verb with numerous meanings, ranging from receiving something to traveling somewhere.

Phrasal Verbs with “Take”

  1. Take on: To accept a job or responsibility.
    • She decided to take on more work to support her family.
    • The company is taking on new interns next month.
  2. Take off: To leave the ground (for aircraft) or to leave hurriedly.
    • The plane took off on time.
    • He took off without saying goodbye.
  3. Take after: To resemble a family member.
    • He really takes after his father in appearance.
    • Mary takes after her grandmother’s temper.

Common Mistakes with “Take”

  • Incorrect: She has took my book.
  • Correct: She has taken my book.
  • Incorrect: Can I take a advice from you?
  • Correct: Can I take some advice from you?

You can check all the other irregular past tense words we have covered on Making English Fun by clicking on the links in the table below.

learn keepfindbe

We also have articles and worksheets which we will link examples of below, and if you need more you can try the search box.


so with take turning into took in its simple past tense form it can be a little challenging to remember. Hopefully the examples and guide above have helped in some way. if not we have some further resources below.

By understanding the past tense forms of the irregular verb “take” and other common irregular verbs and of course practicing and using it in all its forms we highlighted above you will find writing and speaking becoming more and more natural as you continue learning english.

Further Resources

These are a mix of both ours ( if you are practicing past tense and other sites in case you need further clarification.

We also have a full list of irregular verbs from A – Z on the site which you can access from the link here.

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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