Taking Vs Taken


Taking Vs Taken: Understanding the Difference and When to Use Them

The English language has many confusing words and phrases, and one of the most common confusions that people make is between taking and taken. These two words are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings and uses in grammar. In this article, we’ll explore the difference between taking and taken, and provide examples of when to use each.

What is Taking?

Taking is the present participle form of the verb ‘take’. This means that it is used with the verb ‘to be’ to form the continuous tense (e.g. “I am taking a break right now”). Taking can also be used as a noun, meaning the act of taking something (e.g. “The taking of the exam was nerve-wracking”).

Examples of correct usage:

– I am taking my dog for a walk.
– She is taking a shower.
– They are taking their time to decide.

What is Taken?

Taken, on the other hand, is the past participle form of the verb ‘take’. This means that it is used with auxiliary verbs like ‘have’, ‘had’ or ‘has’ to form the present or past perfect tenses (e.g. “I have taken the medicine already”). Taken can also be used as an adjective, meaning something that has been removed or seized (e.g. “I had my passport taken at the airport”).

Examples of correct usage:

– I have taken a taxi to get there.
– She had already taken the test last month.
– They have taken a different approach.

When to Use Taking:

Taking is used to describe an action that is currently happening, or to describe an action that will happen in the near future. It is also used to describe a process or activity that is ongoing.

For instance:

– “He is taking a break from work.”
– “I’m taking a cooking class next week.”
– “She’s taking her time to finish her painting.”

Another common usage of taking is in the gerund form, which is a verb form that functions as a noun, and ends with -ing. Gerunds are often used after prepositions or as a subject of a sentence.

For instance:

– “Taking a break is important for your mental health.”
– “I need some help with taking care of my plants.”

When to Use Taken:

Taken is used to describe something that has already happened in the past, or to describe something that has already been completed.

For instance:

– “We had taken the train to get there.”
– “She had taken a break from work last month.”
– “They have already taken the test.”

Taken is also used in passive voice sentences where the subject receives the action, rather than performing it.

For instance:

– “The exam was already taken by the students.”
– “The bike was taken by someone yesterday.”

Other Uses of Taken:

Apart from being a verb, taken is also commonly used as an adjective to describe something that has been removed or seized. Here are some examples:

– “The stolen bike was taken from the garage.”
– “The confiscated items were taken by the authorities.”
– “My photo was taken by a professional photographer.”

Tips for Using Taking and Taken Correctly:

1. Remember the difference between the present participle and past participle forms of a verb. Taking is the present participle of take, and taken is the past participle of take.

2. Consider the tense of the sentence. Use taking if the action is happening in the present, or if it’s going to happen in the future. Use taken if the action has already happened.

3. Notice the context of the sentence. Pay attention to the surrounding words and phrases to determine which form of the verb is appropriate.

4. Use gerunds after prepositions or as a subject of a sentence.

5. Be careful with passive voice sentences, and make sure the subject is clearly identified.

Final Thoughts:

Taking versus taken is a common confusion in English, but with a little practice, anyone can understand and use these words properly. Just remember that taking is the present participle of take, and taken is the past participle of take. Use taking to describe an action that is currently happening or to describe an action that will happen in the future. Use taken to describe something that has already happened.