took their turns


Senior Member
Hello: I have the following passage:

"The air was cool and still as the sounds of night took their turns: the crickets up close, the frogs farther in the distance..."

I have two interpretations for "took their turns":

1) alternated, as in "took turns doing something"
2) were becoming more and more defined, along the same line as in the sentence "the discussion took an interesting turn"

Which do you think is the right one? Thank you
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I think it simply means that they all made their respective noises. The use of "turns" shouldn't be examined too closely, since it doesn't seem likely that the animals were literally taking turns, waiting for other to finish before making their own sounds. It's a fanciful description, perhaps describing how one notices or identifies one noise and then another, in a sequence.

    I don't think the second alternative, "turn" as it appears in "take an interesting turn" applies.


    Senior Member
    I think it follows this definition of "turn": that which is done by each of a number of persons acting in rotation or succession. Also, take turns, to succeed one another in order; alternate.
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