sign up for a new sport / take up a new sport

sunnyweather

Senior Member
Polish
Hello,

Can we use 'sign up for' instead of 'take up' in the following example:

I'm going to take up / sign up for a new sport like volleyball this year.'

I know there's a difference in meaning, but are both choices acceptable? Thank you for your help in advance.
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes :thumbsup:

    As you rightly say, the meanings are different. If you sign up then you commit to learning/playing with a particular organisation. You literally give your signature and have a contract of some sort.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    sunnyweather, are you asking about the grammar (Your grammar is correct) or are you asking about the difference between 'taking up' and 'signing up for'?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    When I was in high school, students would "sign up" for "orchestra" or "band" or "cheerleading" as there were limited spots available for those activities.

    I would imagine that any activity that is limited in some regard (space, age, cost, etc.) would require a "sign up".

    Signing up for the marching band did not suggest a real contract. It suggested that you were offered an opportunity to participate.
     

    sunnyweather

    Senior Member
    Polish
    sunnyweather, are you asking about the grammar (Your grammar is correct) or are you asking about the difference between 'taking up' and 'signing up for'?
    I'm asking about the difference in meaning between the two collocations.

    e.g. Can we say: 'I'm going to take up judo lessons because some of my friends have already joined a judo club.'

    The key say you should use: 'sign up for', but I think both options are correct with a change in meaning. What do you think?
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'd say "Take up judo" but not "take up judo lessons".

    ("Take up" in the sense of "to occupy oneself with the study or practice of" (no. 111 under "take" in our dictionary).)
     
    Last edited:

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm asking about the difference in meaning between the two collocations.

    e.g. Can we say: 'I'm going to take up judo lessons because some of my friends have already joined a judo club.'

    The key say you should use: 'sign up for', but I think both options are correct with a change in meaning. What do you think?
    'I'm going to take up judo lessons because some of my friends have already joined a judo club.' :cross:
    'I'm going to take up judo because some of my friends have already joined a judo club.' :tick:
    'I'm going to take judo lessons because some of my friends have already joined a judo club.' :tick:

    We 'take up' a sport or other activity.
    We 'take' lessons.

    NOTE
    'to sign up' means that you literally sign a piece of paper.

    'to take' and 'to take up' say nothing about how this will be done. It could be an informal arrangement or it might involve a contract. Maybe you sign something, maybe you don't.
     
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