English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Does the expression take the way signify that you take a particular route with a specific destination? The sentence I came up with is

He took the way to the stadium.

Is that correct?

share|improve this question
Why "way"? Generally, you wouldn't use 'way' to describe where someone went. – Jeremy Oct 23 '11 at 16:31
I agree. It seems like it's translated from another language, I was just wondering if it's a valid expression in English. And I meant I came across this expression, not 'came up with' – Irene Oct 23 '11 at 16:36
It's probably never correct. I might almost be okay with it in a sentence like "After deliberating at the crossroads for some time, he took the way to the stadium". But I don't like it. People do say He went the way of xxxxx, but this is invariably figuration (a common one being where xxxxxx=all flesh, meaning He died). I think OP's usage may have been more acceptable historically, but not today. – FumbleFingers Oct 23 '11 at 16:40
'He took the wrong way to the stadium' is certainly found. – Barrie England Oct 23 '11 at 17:30
@Barrie: But that would rarely be used to imply that the right way was to go somewhere completely different. It would normally mean he was going to the stadium anyway, but didn't take the best route to get there. – FumbleFingers Oct 24 '11 at 15:14
up vote 3 down vote accepted

OED has

29. a. take the way n. ... To enter on and follow the route leading to a specified place.

I live in the US, and find this usage not out of the ordinary. I certainly do not agree that it is "never correct" as some of the UK commenters do.

share|improve this answer
+1: it feels fine to me. – ladenedge Oct 24 '11 at 21:56

I find "take the adjective way" normal - the easy way, the wrong way, the quick way, the pretty way - but not "take the way".

On the other hand, "make one's way" is common, but has a connotation of it being more than just a journey: an effort, or a great endeavour.

share|improve this answer

Seems to work:

Google results

but could be considered out of date.



share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.