“Take A Rest” vs. “Have A Rest” – Difference Explained

Verb choices are a strange concept in English. There are multiple options to choose from in some cases, and it would help to know whether there are any contextual differences between them. This article will explore “have a rest” and “take a rest” to see the difference.

What Is The Difference Between “Take A Rest” And “Have A Rest”?

“Take a rest” and “have a rest” are synonymous. However, “take” is the more common verb choice before the “rest” noun in American English, while “have” is the more common verb choice in British English. Both phrases mean that someone needs a moment of rest.

take a rest vs have a rest

The difference between “take” and “have” is almost impossible to identify by native speakers. British English speakers will sway toward “have” but will not be able to say why they think “take” doesn’t work.

The same applies the other way around, where American English speakers use “take” but do not have much of a reason to explain why “have” isn’t right to them.

When situations like this occur, it all comes down to contextual differences. It’s more common for British speakers to use “have,” meaning that more British people use “have” (overtime, this number grows, and “have” becomes far more acceptable than “take”).

The same happens in American English, where “take” is more popular, and more people will inevitably decide to use it because their peers also use it. In turn, “have” becomes the outcast, and “take” is the most popular choice for all American English speakers.

That’s just a natural way for language to evolve (even if the root of the language is the same).

What Does “Take A Rest” Mean?

“Take a rest” means that we need a moment to rest. The specific time spent on rest is not stated, but it implies that we are exhausted or tired and need to find some of our energy after resting.

In some way, “take” is a more demanding verb. Some people will use it when ordering someone else to “take a rest.” It could be common for a boss to use a phrase like this toward a worker who looks tired.

Perhaps that is why “take a rest” is more popular in American English. British English users might think that the “take” verb is too harsh for the implication of the phrase.

Of course, there’s always the case where the pronoun “I” is used, meaning that someone is referring to themselves. “I need to take a rest” isn’t a command toward ourselves. It’s just a way to share that we’re tied.

Here are some examples that might help you understand it:

  1. You should take a rest when you get a moment. You look really knackered.
  2. I’m not going to take a rest until all of this is completed, okay?
  3. You shouldn’t have taken a rest back there! Now you’re going to have a much harder time resting later.
  4. Take some rest! There’s no point in you being all beaten up before we’ve even begun!
  5. Will you please let me stop and take some rest? I can’t keep moving like this!
  6. I’m taking a rest because I need to! You can’t keep telling me that I’m not allowed to.
  7. If you’d like to take a rest, you should just tell me! I don’t mind waiting around for a little while.

What Does “Have A Rest” Mean?

“Have a rest” means the same as “take a rest.” It implies that we need a rest because we are tired from some form of exertion (physical or mental). It also comes across as much politer, where there isn’t much of a commanding tone about it.

“Have” is a simpler verb than “take.” It does not seem like as much of an order, and it’s much easier to use “have a rest” with a pronoun like “I” that allows us to talk about ourselves.

Perhaps you’d benefit from checking out the following examples to see how it looks:

  1. I need to have a rest. My legs are killing me, and I really think it would help to take the weight off them.
  2. If you want to have some rest, we can stop at the station up ahead before continuing forward.
  3. I need to have a rest for a second. Just let my body catch up to my brain!
  4. You can’t have a rest yet! We’re not there, and we still have to find a way to beat the other time.
  5. I’m not going to let you have some rest until you’ve proven yourself to me. It’s that simple.
  6. If we’re going to have a rest, we should make sure to get it done soon. I think it’s almost daybreak!
  7. You’ll need to have a rest at some point! I can wait around all day before that happens!

Are “Take A Rest” And “Have A Rest” Used Differently In The UK And The US?

We’ve spoken about the differences between American and British English already in this article. However, it might help to have some actual evidence about the differences between the two.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “take a rest” is the most popular choice in American English. You can also see that “have a rest” is used, but it’s not nearly as common as the “take” variation of the phrase.

take a rest vs have a rest American English

On the other hand, according to Google Ngram Viewer, “have a rest” is the most popular choice in British English. Again, there is still evidence that “take a rest” is used, but it’s not as popular as the “have” verb choice.

take a rest vs have a rest British English

Both languages use both phrases, but they clearly favor one over the other. American English favors “take a rest” in all written cases, while British English tends to favor “have a rest.”

If I Am Not From The UK Or The US, Should I Use “Take A Rest” Or “Have A Rest”?

That last section was great for anyone from the UK or the US. But what about all those other English speakers that don’t come from those countries? Are there any specific rules you will need to follow?

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “take a rest” is the most popular choice across the whole of the English language. However, there isn’t much in it, and “have a rest” is still a common choice.

take a rest vs have a rest historical development

This means that both forms are correct. If you’re not from the UK or the US, it’s okay to use either form.

Ideally, you’ll want to stick to “take” when speaking to other American English users and “have” when speaking to British English users. However, if you’re speaking to neutral parties, “take a rest” is more popular, so that’s probably your best choice!

When Should I Use “Get Some Rest”?

“Get some rest” is a similar phrase, and we use it in both American and British English. It works when someone is in dire need of rest because they have been on their feet for a while or working really hard.

The implication of the other two phrases is that someone might want rest, but there is no real reason as to why. “Get some rest” usually means that there is a reason for someone to want “rest,” and if they don’t get it soon, they might pass out from exhaustion.

Check out these examples to help you:

  1. I need to get some rest soon! I don’t know how much longer I can keep going.
  2. He wanted to get some rest because he’s been on his feet all day.
  3. You’re not going to get some rest with an attitude like that! Keep working until you drop.
  4. I don’t want to annoy you, but I have to get some rest before I faint!
  5. Get some rest before going out there! I don’t want you getting into any trouble!

Is It Ever Correct To Use “Take Rest”?

“Take rest” is not grammatically correct in American or British English. It seems to be a correct form in Indian English, but most English natives will not recognize it. “Take a rest” should always be used.

“Take” is a verb, while “a rest” is the noun form. Therefore, we combine the two (keeping “a” present) when we want to show them as a phrase.

What Is The Difference Between “Take A Break” And “Take A Rest”?

“Take a break” means that someone needs a quick break away from something. It usually refers to a brief window at work when somebody doesn’t have to think about their job. “Take a rest” implies that someone is tired and needs to get their energy back.

Generally, a “rest” is more serious than a “break.” A break could take ten minutes and be more than enough for somebody to get back to work afterward.

A rest is often longer, and some people still don’t feel completely refreshed or ready by the end of it.

“Take A Rest” And “Have A Rest” – Synonyms

Finally, let’s check out some synonyms we can use to replace the two phrases we’ve explored in this article:

  • Get some rest
  • Rest
  • Take a moment
  • Take a pause
  • Have a minute
  • Take your time