To take to somebody/something

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Senior Member
Hi there folks! How are you doing this 2016?
I've just come across this phrasal verb in my pofriciency book:
She took to her new hobby of amateur theatricals like duck to water.
I've found this in the Cambridge dictionary: to start to like sth/ sb.
Would you use it to say something like: she is taking to him. As an attraction, I mean.
Could you give me any other examples?
Thanks in advance guys.
Have a nice day.
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    She took to her new hobby of amateur theatricals like duck to water.
    I've found this in the Cambridge dictionary: to start to like something/somebody.

    The Cambridge dictionary is not helpful here if that is what it says -

    To take to something like a duck to water - to start doing something well, easily, in a natural manner, and/or without any/much practice.

    It is possible to use it as "She met him in a pub and they took to each other like ducks to water." but it is not very common. It is mainly used with things, especially things that requires skill:

    "He had never driven a car in his life, but he took to it like a duck to water and three days later, he had had his licence."


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I agree with PaulQ that including 'like ducks to water' doesn't quite work in the given example.

    However, by itself, we do use 'take to' to mean 'like':

    My daughter took to her new teacher. She looks forward to going to school every day.

    I taught Sam to fish, and he took to it right away. Now he goes fishing whenever he can.
    There are other common meanings of "took to", which makes it difficult to search for examples of this use.
    Here is the entry from our dictionary:

    take to, [~ + to + object]
    • to devote oneself to; use or do as a habit: to take to drink.
    • to begin to like: They took to each other at once.
    • to go to: She took to her bed, sick with fever.
    • to have recourse to; resort to: took to stealing cars.


    Senior Member
    AE (US English)
    Cagey's fishing sentence matches your use. But none of his 4 dictionary meanings match it. The "take to a person" is one of those.

    Your use is to "take to (doing) an activity". Very common. I've heard it for decades.

    "take to" points at the transition from not liking something to liking it a lot. As your dictionary says.

    "took to <an activity> like a duck takes to water" is the most common simile. Very, very common.

    If means "started a new activity" and "liked doing it". The duck part means "found it very natural to do".


    Senior Member
    Wow! All your explanations are great guys! Thanks a lot.
    Although, I've got the gist of this phrasal verb, I'll need to take some notes and I'm a little pushed for time now,
    but I will this weekend. For sure!
    I appreciate your help.
    Thank you very much to you all.


    Senior Member
    Hindi (West Uttar Pradesh)
    This question has been added to a previous thread. Cagey, moderator

    Hi all.
    This sentence is from an article of The New York Times and about the German movie 'Different from the others'.

    'But as much as some critics and audiences took to the film, others found it indecent, unwatchable. '

    I cannot understand the meaning of 'took to' here. Please tell me what does 'took to' mean here? Is it a common usage?

    I'd be very grateful.

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    "To take to something" means "To get to like something." So I would assume that at the beginning of the film some of the critics and audience didn't think the film was going to be very entertaining, or going to hold their interest, but that, as it continued, they came to enjoy it.
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