Session 4

Vocabulary: 13 uses of 'take'

Enjoy our version of Charles Dickens' classic novel David Copperfield - and learn 13 different ways to use the word 'take'

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

0 / 10

  • 0 / 5
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 5
    Activity 2

Activity 1

David Copperfield part one - 8 uses of 'take'

The life of David Copperfield
The English word take has many meanings and uses. In this session, we bring you BBC Learning English's own version of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens - and we've found many different ways to use the word take in it. 

To do

As you watch part one of the story, listen out for the different uses of the word take - and decide whether this summary of the story is correct or wrong:

  • David Copperfield has a stable and happy childhood.

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello, I'm Darren. Today I'm going to tell you one of Charles Dickens’ favourite novels. It's the story of a boy called David Copperfield, who survived the cruel treatment of his stepfather but grew up to find true love and success.

David spends his first happy years with his loving mother, a widow, and Pegotty, their devoted housekeeper. Everything changes when Clara Copperfield meets the handsome but cruel Mr Murdstone, who treats David badly. Pegotty takes David to Yarmouth to visit her brother, a fisherman, who has taken two orphans, Ham and Emily, into care. After a wonderful fortnight, David returns to find his mother has married Mr Murdstone. David’s stepfather continues to mistreat him. One day David bites him. Furious, Mr Murdstone takes the opportunity to persuade Clara to send David to boarding school. It’s a grim place, but David meets the dashing Steerforth – the school’s head boy.

Tragedy strikes when David learns that his mother and baby brother have died. He is sent by Mr Murdstone to work in his London wine factory. He lodges with the happy-go-lucky Micawber family, who are always in debt. When the authorities take Mr Micawber off to prison, David runs away to Dover to take refuge with his aunt. Miss Betsy is quite formidable but she takes pity on her nephew and sends him to a good school in Canterbury. He lives with Mr Wickfield, her business manager, and his daughter. Agnes is David’s good angel. David also encounters the scheming Uriah Heep, Mr Wickfield’s clerk. Such a creep and hypocrite! David takes an instant dislike to him and indeed, Uriah will bring ruin to the Wickhams and Aunt Betsy.

David, now 17, leaves school. En route to Yarmouth, he bumps into Steerforth, who travels with him to Yarmouth. There they find Emily and Ham are engaged, though Steerforth seems quite taken with Emily. This doesn’t bode well!

I'll tell you what happens in the next part of the story when I see you next time. Bye for now.

To do

How was that? The summary was wrong - David's first few years are happy, but then his childhood becomes very unstable and he moves around a lot.

Have a go at our quiz to check you know the first 8 uses of take.

David Copperfield - the story so far...

5 Questions

Let's check your understanding of the story - and the words and phrases with take. Decide whether each statement about the story is true or false. Look at the vocabulary box if you need help.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y


We're going to take you to the next page now to find out what happens next in David's life - and to learn some more uses of take! See you there.

Session Vocabulary

  • takes (A1)
    brings a person or thing from one place to another

    taken someone into (your) care (C1)
    agreed to look after someone and be responsible for them

    takes the opportunity (B2)
    uses the situation to do something he wants to do

    take (someone) off to (C1)
    move (someone) from one place to another

    take refuge (C2)
    find shelter (from danger or unhappiness)

    takes pity on (B2)
    feels sympathy for

    takes an instant dislike to (B2)
    immediately feels hostility towards something or someone

    seems/is taken with (C1) 
    is attracted to