I am not a native speaker. Could you please explain the difference between the phrases "take a look at" and "look at"?
- Take a look at this issue.
- Look at this issue.
What is the difference? Or are these phrases equal?
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I write as an Empire Antipodean (aka a New Zealander) and it is possible that, because the usage differences are so subtle, the usage may be somewhat different in less far flung realms. That said -
There is no difference in meaning*, but there is a somewhat informal difference in usage.
In written usage "Look at ..." has the feeling of a command or instruction.
In spoken communications "Look at ..." has a greater sense of immediacy.
If passing on instructions to someone re what they may see along a route one would be more likely to say "Take a look at the view as you crest the rise beyind the village".
*All comparative references with implied subjects are between "look at" and "take a look at"