Take


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A few years ago there were lots of lightbulb jokes in English. You probably had them in your language too. Here is an example. How many policemen/civil servants/school teachers does it take to change a lightbulb? Five – one to stand on a table holding the lightbulb, and four to pick the table up and turn it round. Some people find these jokes very funny. Other people don’t think they are funny at all.

Look at the first sentence of the joke "How many policemen does it take to change a lightbulb?" It means "How many policemen are needed to change a lightbulb?" Here are some more sentences that use TAKE in this way.

How many bricks will it take to build the wall? It will take about 2000 bricks.

How much water will it take to fill the basin? It will take about 2 litres.

How long will it take to get to London? It will take about 2 hours.

How long do you take to do your homework? It takes me about one hour.

Here is a lightbulb joke about the English. How many English people does it take to change a lightbulb? What, change the lightbulb? That lightbulb has lasted nearly 500 years, and there’s nothing wrong with it. We couldn’t possibly change it now.