We often use common verbs like have and take with nouns like a shower, a drink:
I took a shower. (= I showered.)
She had a drink. (= She drank something.)
We often put adjectives in front of the noun:
I took a cold shower.
She had a nice, refreshing drink.
The verbs used most frequently in this way are:
We use have with:
|food and drink
|a meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, a cup of tea
|a chat, a conversation, a discussion, a talk
|a bath, a shower, a wash, a scrub
|a break, a holiday, a rest
|an argument, a dispute, a fight, a quarrel
I had a good breakfast before I left home.
We had a long talk about the problem.
The kids should have a bath before they go to bed.
She generally had a short holiday in July or August.
They had a serious quarrel about their father's will.
We also use have with nouns formed from verbs:
I think you should have a look at this.
She had a bite of the cake.
I'm thirsty. I'm going to have a drink of water.
I had a listen to that new CD in the car.
They are going to have a swim.
- Delexical verbs 1: have
We use take with:
|a bath, a shower, a wash
|a break, a holiday, a rest
I always take a cold shower in the morning.
You look tired. You need to take a break.
and with these words:
We took hundreds of photographs on holiday.
Jane always takes a lot of trouble with her homework.
We also use take with some nouns formed from verbs:
I think you should take a look at this.
Let's take a walk.
They are going to take a swim.
- Delexical verbs 2: take
- Delexical verbs 3: have and take
We use give with:
|a cry, a laugh, a scream, a shout, a whistle
|a smile, a grin, a look, a glance
|a kick, a punch, a slap, a push, a knock, a blow
|a hug, a kiss, a stroke
|some advice, an answer, some information, an interview, a lecture, some news, a report, a speech, a talk, a warning
She gave a loud laugh.
John gave a happy smile.
He gave me a nasty kick on the leg.
She gave the children a goodnight kiss and put them to bed.
I have to give a speech at the meeting tomorrow.
- Delexical verbs 4: give
We use make with:
|talking and sounds
|a comment, an enquiry, a noise, a point, a promise, a sound, a speech, a suggestion
|arrangements, a choice, a decision, a plan, plans, an appointment, a date
Try not to make a noise.
They made arrangements to meet the next day.
- Delexical verbs 5: make
- Delexical verbs 6: give and make
We also use go as a delexical verb:
Shall we go swimming this afternoon? Or shall we go for a walk?
Mum and Dad have gone shopping.
We're going dancing tonight. Do you want to come?
We use go with -ing verbs for common activities:
We usually go walking at the weekend.
He goes running every evening after supper.
Mum's out. She's gone shopping.
We use go for a with verbs to do with moving:
I want to get out of here. Let's go for a walk.
He's gone for a ride on his bike.
- Delexical verbs 7: go
We use do with -ing nouns to do with work, especially work in the house:
It's your turn to do the cooking.
You do the washing up and I'll do the drying.
and with other nouns to do with work:
I need to do a few jobs around the house.
I can't come out this evening. I have a lot of work to do.
We use do with nouns when it is obvious what the action is:
I'll have to do my hair before we go out. (= I'll have to brush my hair.)
Have you done your teeth? (= Have you cleaned your teeth?)
A question like
Have you done the car?
Have you washed the car?
Have you mended the car?
Have you put petrol in the car?
depending on the context.