Take Out vs. Take Off: Proper English Usage

A lot of intermediate and advanced English learners enjoy learning more phrasal verbs. It’s a great way to sound more natural as an English speaker. But without some guidance, phrasal verbs can be difficult to know when to use.

What’s the difference between the phrases “take out” and “take off”? When should you use each one? Let’s take a look at the meanings of each phrase and some example sentences.

Take out: to move something from inside to outside

Can you please take out the trash?

Take (something) out: to remove something as an option or part

He didn’t like the way the sentence sounded so he took it out of his paper.

Take out (as a noun): food ordered in advance to take home and eat

We didn’t feel like cooking so we ordered take out for dinner.

Take off: to physically remove something from another object

Before you come in the house, remember to take off your shoes.

He took the book off the bookshelf.

Take off: to stop doing something, like work, for an amount of time

He didn’t feel well so he took the day off from work.

I think I want a vacation. I might take a week off to travel.


As you can see, one phrase can have several different meanings in English. Practice using these phrases in context. If you have questions about how to use a phrase, don’t hesitate to contact me. I offer private lessons as well to help you improve your English. The best way to improve is to speak to a native speaker. Don’t be afraid to practice!