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take something on board

Discussion in 'English Only' started by audiolaik, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. audiolaik

    audiolaik Senior Member

    Poland
    Poland, Polish
    Hello,

    I have just found the following expression in a listening exercise in a coursebook*:

    "I take that point on board."

    The following expression is used as an example of how to agree with a point during a discussion.
    Having looked up the phrase in question, I learnt that it means to understand or accept an idea or a piece of information. (source)

    Is it used in formal or informal situations?

    Thank you!

    * CPE Gold Plus
     
  2. teksch Senior Member

    San Diego, California
    English - American
    While the sentence is understandable, I have never heard the term in AE. I would not use it in formal writing. It should be written as "I'll take that point on board."
     
  3. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    I associate this with the talk you hear at business meetings and similar contexts, and I think that is where it started. In this context it is suitable for formal. You could use it in a business letter.

    However, it is also used sometimes used as a response to advice in other situations. From the internet: 'thanks for the feedback, mate , I'll take that on board...

    *It's more often used with "that" by itself, than with "that point".
    "I take that point on board"; no Google hits.
    "I'll take that point on board", 16 Google hits.
    It is more frequent in the future form than in the present:
    "I take that on board" 121 Google hits.
    "I'll take that on board" 201 Google hits.
    "I'll take it on board" is also possible, but "that" is the more usual word.

    *Edit: My mistake. See correction in cycloneviv's post #5 below.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  4. audiolaik

    audiolaik Senior Member

    Poland
    Poland, Polish
    Thank you!
     
  5. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
    Curiously enough, I receive quite different Google results for the first set of sentences - the opposite results, in fact:

    "I take that point on board"; no Google hits. (I found 16 distinct results, not including this thread.)
    "I'll take that point on board", 16 Google hits. (I found 0 results, apart from this thread.)

    Could you have got the results mixed up, Cagey?
     
  6. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    I did indeed. Thanks, Cycloneviv.
     
  7. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Can I use it as a response to someone who gives me an answer to a English question?

    A yells at B who is trying to find rules for English, "You can't reduce English to rules!"
    B: Okay. I'll take that on board.

    Does "take it on board" sound natural?
     
  8. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "To take something on board" in this sense sounds like office jargon to me, but I see that the version with the simple present ("I take that point on board") has been used a few times in parliamentary debates in the UK. I couldn't use it in an informal setting, and I feel inclined to avoid it altogether because it strikes me as deliberately vague and non-committal.
     
  9. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    How about "take someone on board"? Does it mean "bring someone on the ship"?
     
  10. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Perhaps. Are you literally talking about a ship? (or just trying to use a different form of the metaphor)
     
  11. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    I used it literally and the context is about the Noah and the Ark.
     
  12. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Noah took, not only people, but also animals, on board the Ark.:thumbsup:
     
  13. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    Thus, is it idiomatic to write the sentence “Noah didn’t take them on board in a great flood” in this context.
     

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