Took Or Taken? Difference Explained For Beginners (+18 Examples)

Sometimes, verb rules and forms are difficult to understand. The verb forms of “to take” show this. We can look at “took” and “taken,” both are past tense forms, but they are both used differently. So, let’s find out when to use them.

What Is The Difference Between “Took” And “Taken”?

Took is the past tense and should be used when you’re writing “to take” in the past as in “I took that.” Taken is the past participle and should be used when an auxiliary verb is present (i.e., have), so “I have taken that” is correct.

What Is The Difference Between "Took" And "Taken"?
VerbTake
PastTook
Past ParticipleTaken
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Does “Took” And “Taken” Have The Same Meaning?

Both “took” and “taken” come from the same verb stem. They both mean “to take” in the past tense. “To take” means to grab something with your hands and, generally, move it from its original place.

When we use “took,” it is the simple past tense. That means we do not need anything else to accompany it to make the sentence correct. However, “taken” is the past participle, which has to come with an auxiliary (or helping) verb to work, like “have” or “was.”

9 Examples Of How To Use “Took” In A Sentence

Let’s show you some examples of how each looks in a sentence. Rather than teaching you all the English rules associated with both words, sometimes it helps a little more to see them both used. You should be able to work out the context of the sentences and start understanding which form works better for what you need.

  1. I took the stairs to the right.
  2. I took on a lot more work than I realized.
  3. He took me to see the doctor.
  4. They took me out to have a nice day.
  5. We took each other to the cinema.
  6. When I took my temperature, it wasn’t very good.
  7. I took you for granted, and I’m sorry about that.
  8. My teacher took one look at me and laughed.
  9. He took no notice of me earlier today.

When we use the simple past tense, it shows a general action that happened in the past. That means “took” is used to show somebody “taking” something in the past as a general action, rather than showing it as a completed action.

9 Examples Of How To Use “Taken” In A Sentence

Now we’ll see when “taken” makes more sense. We typically use the past participle when we’re using a helping verb with it. It makes more sense to use when we’re talking about an activity or thing that took place in the past and was completed there too. Nothing else can be done to change the outcome of the examples we’re about to show you.

  1. I have taken note of everything in the meeting.
  2. She has taken me out already.
  3. I have taken everything you’ve said in my stride.
  4. We have taken the necessary precautions, and it won’t happen again.
  5. You have taken far too much of a lunch break. Get back to work.
  6. He has taken me for granted for too long.
  7. When have you ever taken me on a date?
  8. Have you taken him out anywhere nice?
  9. I have taken all the medication I can.

In each of these examples, you can see how we’re writing about events that have happened in the past, but also events that have been completed. This means that no further action is required to complete these tasks.

The same rule is applied no matter what verb form we’re using. Once we’ve completed a task, we use the past participle to say it’s done. However, some verb forms have the same simple past tense and past participle, making it much easier to use them and not confuse the forms.

Is It “Have Took” Or “Have Taken”?

As we’ve said above, we use auxiliary verbs like “have” when writing in the past participle. This means that only “have taken” is the correct form. Look at the following examples:

  • I have took a trip.
  • I have taken a trip.

Only one of those sentences works and is grammatically correct. You can only say “have taken” in any context, and there is never a case where “have took” is correct.

“Took” is already a verb on its own; it doesn’t need another verb like “have” before it to make any sense. “Taken” requires have if it’s to make sense in a sentence.

Is It “Who Has Taken” Or “Who Took”?

In this case, both of these work, and it depends on the situation you’re talking about.

  • Who has taken my sandwich?

This shows that the sandwich is already gone, and we’re looking to figure out exactly who did it. Generally, we use this when talking directly to the people we believe took the sandwich.

  • Who took my sandwich?

This is slightly more general, and we’re only aware that our sandwich has gone. We’re simply looking for a name or confession. Generally, we use this when we’re unsure of whether the people we’re talking to are the culprits (or when we’re talking to ourselves).

Is It “Took Medicine” Or “Taken Medicine”?

This situation depends again on the context of the sentence.

  • I took medicine earlier.

This shows a general “taking” of medicine earlier in the day. No more information is needed, and the implication is that the medicine wasn’t necessary (or prescribed); it was just a precautionary measure.

  • I have taken medicine.

In this case, the medicine is slightly more necessary. Whether it’s a more severe problem or a scheduled time to take some medication, that’s when we use this phrase.

Is It “Took For Granted” Or “Taken For Granted”?

Again, these sayings are interchangeable but are dependent on context.

  • He took me for granted.

This shows that someone took someone else for granted in the past. It’s a general event that happened.

  • He has taken me for granted.

This shows the same person being taken for granted, but they’re still being taken for granted and have only just come to that realization.

Is It “Ever Took” Or “Ever Taken”?

The difference between “ever took” and “ever taken” follows the same rules we’ve used above. Both are correct; it mostly depends on the context.

  • That was the hardest test I ever took.

Here, we’re implying that the test happened in the past (generally, we’re no longer a student taking tests).

  • That was the hardest test I have ever taken.

Here, we’re implying that the test was hard, but there might still be time to take more tests in the future (and those tests may end up being much harder than it).

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