Spanish Verbs That Translate 'To Take'

This common English verb varies widely in meaning

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"Take" is one of those English words that is all but impossible to translate to Spanish without some context.

As can be seen in the list below, "take" has dozens of meanings — so it can't be translated with a single Spanish verb or even a handful of them. Although you always should translate to Spanish based on meaning rather than word-for-word, that's especially true with "take."

Meanings and Spanish Translations for 'To Take'

Here are some common uses (though certainly not all) of the verb "to take" in English along with possible translations to Spanish. Of course, the Spanish verbs listed aren't the only ones available, and the choice you make will often depend on the context in which it is used.

  • to take = to get possession oftomarTomó el libro y fue a la biblioteca. (He took the book and went to the library.)
  • to take = to transport (something) and give possession to someone elsellevarLe llevo las manzanas a Susana. (I'm taking the apples to Susana.)
  • to take = to transport (a person)llevarLlevó a Susana al aeropuerto. (She took Susana to the airport.)
  • to take = to remove, to pickcogerCogieron las manzanas del árbol. (They took the apples off the tree.)
  • to take = to snatch (from someone)arrebatar¿Te arrebató el sombrero? (Did he take your hat?)
  • to take = to stealrobar, quitarA Susana le robaron mucho dinero. (They took a lot of money from Susana.)
  • to take = to acceptaceptar¿Aceptan los cheques? (Do they take checks?)
  • to take = to subscribe to (a newspaper or magazine)suscribirse, abonarseMe suscribo al Wall Street Journal. (I take the Wall Street Journal.)
  • to take = to holdcogerDéjeme que le coja el sombrero. Let me take your hat.)
  • to take = to travel bycoger, tomar, ir enTomaré el autobús. (I will take the bus.)
  • to take = to requirenecesitar, requerir, llevarNecesita mucho coraje. (It takes a lot of courage.)
  • to take = to require or wear (a certain size or type of clothing) — calzar (said of shoes), usar (said of clothing)Calzo los de tamaño 12. (I take size 12 shoes.)
  • to take = to last, to use timedurarNo durará mucho. (It won't take long.)
  • to take = to studyestudiarEstudio la sicología. (I'm taking psychology.)
  • to take a bath (shower)bañarse (ducharse)No me baño los lunes. (I don't take baths on Mondays.)
  • to take a break, to take a rest tomarse un descansoVamos a tomarnos un descanso a las dos. (We're going to take a break at 2.)
  • to take after = to chase, to go afterperseguirEl policía persiguió el ladrón. (The policeman took after the thief.)
  • to take after = to resembleparecerseMaría se parece a su madre. (María takes after her mother.)
  • to take apartdesmontarDesmontó el carro. (She took the car apart.)
  • to take away, to take from, to take off = to removequitarLes quitaron el sombrero. (They took their hats off.)
  • to take away, to take off = to subtractsustraer, restarVa a sustraer dos euros de la cuenta. (He is going to take two euros off the bill.)
  • to take back = to returndevolverNo le he devuelto el coche. (I haven't taken back the car to him.)
  • to take coveresconderse, ocultarseSe escondió de la policía. (He took cover from the police.)
  • to take down = to dismantle desmontarDesmontaron la valla publicitaria. (They took the billboard down.)
  • to take an exam or testpresentar un examen, presentarse a un examenEl otro día me presenté a un examen. (The other day I took a test.)
  • to take down, to take notesanotar, escribir, tomar apuntesQuiero que escriba la información. (I want you to take down the information.)
  • to take (someone) fortomar porUd. no me tomaría por un chef. (You wouldn't take me for a chef.)
  • to take in = to deceiveengañarMe engañé por el farsante. (I was taken in by a liar.)
  • to take in = to understandcomprenderNo pudo comprenderlo. (He couldn't take it in.)
  • to take in = to includeincluir, abarcarEl parque incluye dos lagos. (The park takes in two lakes.)
  • to take in = to provide lodging foracogerMi madre acoge a muchos gatos. (My mother takes in many cats.)
  • to take off = to go awayirseSe fue como un murciélago. (He took off like a bat.)
  • to take off weightadelgazarAdelgaza por la actividad física. (He is taking off weight through physical activity.)
  • to take on = to accept or assume (responsibilities)aceptar, asumirNo puedo aceptar la responsabilidad. (I can't accept the responsibility.)
  • to take on = to employemplear, cogerEmpleamos dos trabajadores. (We took on two workers.)
  • to take out = to remove — sacar — El dentista me sacó una muela. (The dentist took out a molar of mine.)
  • to take one's word for itcreerNo voy a creerte. (I'm not going to take your word for it.)
  • to take over = to assume operationsabsorber, adquirir, apoderarseEl gobierno se apoderó el ferrocarril. (The government took over the railroad.)
  • to take a picturetomar una foto, hacer una fotoTomé tres fotos. (I took three pictures.)
  • to take pity oncompadecerse deMe compadecé los pobres. (I took pity on the poor people.)
  • to take prisonercapturar, tomar prisoEl policía le capturó el ladrón. (The policeman took the thief prisoner.)
  • to take up = to begin dedicarse aSe dedicó a nadar. (She took up swimming.)
  • to take a walk dar un paseoVoy a dar un paseo. (I'm going to go for a walk.)

Use Caution With Coger

Although coger is an entirely innocent and ordinary word in some regions, in other regions it can have an obscene meaning — take care when using this term.

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Erichsen, Gerald. "Spanish Verbs That Translate 'To Take'." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Erichsen, Gerald. (2023, April 5). Spanish Verbs That Translate 'To Take'. Retrieved from Erichsen, Gerald. "Spanish Verbs That Translate 'To Take'." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 5, 2023).