Take Effort or Make Effort – Which Is Correct?

The phrases “take effort” and “make effort” are seemingly quite similar, especially when considering the fact that “take” and “make” are both used as verbs and nouns. However, these phrases are different in meaning and use, which we will be thoroughly exploring in this article.

Take Effort Or Make Effort – Which Is Correct?

Both the phrase “take effort” and “make effort” are considered correct, however, we will generally see an article like “an” or “the” added to these phrases. At the same time, we may see “take” pluralized, or the terms “took”, “taking”, or “making” used to increase the correctness of a sentence.

Take Effort or Make Effort

It is important to be aware that using these phrases often calls for the use of the past tense or present participle of “take” and “made”, in order for a sentence to be grammatically correct, or considered proper English.

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Take Effort

When we use the phrase “take effort”, we are discussing doing something that requires hard work, dedication, and time. However, much of the time, we will see the phrase used in the past tense as “took effort”, in the present participle as “taking effort”, or pluralized as “takes effort”.

We may also see the phrase altered by the addition of an article, like “the” to make the phrase “take the effort”. All of these variations are considered to be correct and their particular use is dependent on the sentence, what the speaker is describing, etc.

We will now go over some examples that highlight how we can properly use this phrase in a sentence:

  1. You can start the project now, but it will take effort or an abundance of cash.
  2. This will take effort, but the end result will be worth it.
  3. It takes effort to become a better person, but I believe you can change.
  4. It took effort and courage to overcome those obstacles, but you did it!
  5. This took effort, it had absolutely nothing to do with luck.
  6. It’s taking effort and time, however, we will get the job done.
  7. It takes effort to do well on your exams.

Make Effort

When we use the phrase “make effort”, we are discussing something that we didn’t initially want to do or feel that we are capable of doing, but we’re still attempting to accomplish it. Often, we will see an article like “an” or “the” added to this phrase.

At the same time, we will commonly see the phrase written or spoken as “making the effort”, which is using the present participle of “make”. We may also see the phrase altered to be “made the effort”, which is using the past tense of “make”.

We will now look over the following examples, that highlight how we can appropriately use this phrase in a sentence:

  1. In the last hour of the game he didn’t make effort.
  2. You should make the effort to expand your social circle.
  3. Make an effort to be a better partner to your husband.
  4. I hate cooking dinner, but I made the effort to do so last night.
  5. He was actually making an effort to change, regardless of what she said.
  6. She actively made the effort to listen to her students’ issues after class.
  7. You both need to make an effort to salvage your marriage.

Which Is Used The Most?

When looking at the data that has been provided by Google Ngram Viewer, it is easy to see that “take effort” is used more commonly in the present day. However, this was not always the case, as from the 1950s to the mid-2000s, “make effort” was used more frequently.

Take Effort or Make Effort usage

For the better portion of a century, “make effort” was the far more popularly used phrase. This could have an abundance to do with the fact that “make effort” is used to describe something that we didn’t initially want to do, whereas “take effort” describes something difficult that we’ve had to do.

Moreover, since the beginning of the 2000s, the phrase “take effort” has steadily increased in use, whereas “make effort has remained quite consistent in use throughout the 1900s and into the 2000s.

Final Thoughts

While the phrases “take effort” and “make effort” are both correct, it’s more common to see the past tense or present participle of “take” and “make” used – i.e.: “taking”, “making”, “took”, and “made”. We also frequently see an article like “the” or “an” used, to increase sentence correctness and fluidity.