Have/Take a walk, AmE BrE differences

Hello,

I saw this distinction between AmE and BrE in longman dictionary:

To take a walk, look, swim, shower... is an AmE usage
To have a walk, look, swim, shower... is a BrE usage

However in other sources I haven't seen such a distinction. Is there such a difference?

Thank you.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Here's a BrE view:

    To take a walk, look, swim, shower:tick: (possibly more AmE than BrE)
    To have a walk:cross:
    To have a look, swim, shower:tick:
     

    rm321

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    what about to take a seat? Woud you ever say that?

    Yes I would, if someone comes into an office or a similar situation "take a seat" or "have a seat" are both widely used. I think this difference between have and take comes down to each individual case unfortunately.

    Re: Loob, I don't agree, I would say 'have a walk' but never 'take a walk, swim, shower'.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Re: Loob, I don't agree, I would say 'have a walk' but never 'take a walk, swim, shower'.
    Ditto, Mrs.L. What bit of the country are you from, RM? ~ maybe it's a regional-British thing ... ?

    In fact, the more I look at take a swim, the more it sounds like double Dutch:confused:
     

    rm321

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Ditto, Mrs.L. What bit of the country are you from, RM? ~ maybe it's a regional-British thing ... ?

    In fact, the more I look at take a swim, the more it sounds like double Dutch:confused:
    Maybe, I'm from Sheffield.
    I agree, I think take a walk/ look/ shower sound American whereas 'take a swim' just looks wrong.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I think the situation is just a little fuzzier than what is suggested by Longman. Nancy Mitford, writing in the middle of the last century talked about U and non-U (upper class and non-upper class) speech in England. Here's Time magazine summarising some of the differences:

    They [U speakers] may repress a shudder at saying "Cheers" when drinking, but they will flatly refuse to say the non-U "God bless!" They do not "take a bath"; the U version is "have one's bath." U usage is a nought for the U.S. zero, and what? for pardon!
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    On reflection, I was clearly wrong to suggest "have a walk" was incorrect. I did so because I'd usually say "I went for a walk" rather than "I had a walk". But I happily say things like "I had a nice walk round the town and looked at the shops".

    As the thread linked by Cagey indicates, this issue is more complicated than it looks!:D
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hello,

    I saw this distinction between AmE and BrE in longman dictionary:

    To take a walk, look, swim, shower... is an AmE usage
    To have a walk, look, swim, shower... is a BrE usage
    The other threads Cagey has provided are worth reading. Rather than repeat what is in the other threads, I write simply to rebut the erroneous Longman Dict. entry.

    AE does use both have a look and take a look. AE also uses, with less frequency,
    have a swim, have a shower, but I have never heard an AE speaker say have a walk.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the situation is just a little fuzzier than what is suggested by Longman. Nancy Mitford, writing in the middle of the last century talked about U and non-U (upper class and non-upper class) speech in England. Here's Time magazine summarising some of the differences:
    There's nothing "upper class" about saying "I'm going to have a bath". Those of us who use this expression rather than "take a bath" do so out of habit, without giving a moment's thought to social status.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    There's nothing "upper class" about saying "I'm going to have a bath". Those of us who use this expression rather than "take a bath" do so out of habit, without giving a moment's thought to social status.
    Sorry, I'm not implying there is TODAY a clear U and non-U distinction, or that any choice is a conscious choice. I just wanted to say that when talking about the English of England, there is difference some of it class related, and therefore to say that take a bath is only American over-simplifies the situation.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    My husband was born and raised on the Canadian Prairies. His father and mother were from North Dakota and they came to Canada and homesteaded in Saskatchewan in the early 1900s. His influence in speech, therefore, was distinctly American.

    I, on the other hand, was taught and raised on basic BE and although there has been some influence from the daily bombardment of U.S. media, whenever my husband says "I'm going to take a shower", I can't resist saying "Don't take it too far" or "Where are you taking it?"

    I don't "take" walks... I "go for" walks. I don't "take a look" at the nudist next door... I "have a look".:eek:
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    These all sound natural to me except the two I have marked:

    To take a walk
    To have a walk :cross:
    To go for a walk
    To take a look
    To have a look
    To go for a swim
    To take a swim :cross:
    To have a swim
    To take a shower
    To have a shower

    Where both sound natural, take seems a little more deliberate than have. For example, if I had a look, well, I just looked, but if I took a look, then maybe I watched a little.
     
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