I'm worried that 'take advantage' could have a slightly negative connotation. Could you say "make advantage [of a situation]"?

  • Or you could turn a situation to your advantage.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 21:38
  • There's nothing wrong with take advantage per se. If I said, "Airline fares are only discounted through Sunday, so make sure you take advantage of that when getting your tickets for this summer." There's no negative connotation whatsoever. In fact everyone will look favorably on you when you tell them how much you paid. So if it's not a "negative situation" go ahead and use take advantage. In a situation in which take advantage is negative, rephrasing it won't help: "I took advantage of the shopkeeper's distraction and pocketed a candy bar" isn't changed by using made the most of
    – Jim
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 21:51
  • @Jim I am writing a document where the idea of "taking advantage of somebody's naivety" is already being suggested.
    – user36388
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 23:07
  • @FumbleFingers In what reference work can you look up the absence of an expression?
    – MetaEd
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 3:05
  • @MετάEd: Okay, maybe "no-one" was putting it a bit strong. There's one which makes advantage of in Google Books. But that's up against 225,000 instances of which takes advantage of. As to citing a reference work to back me up on that, I couldn't be bothered even if there was one. Are you seriously going to defend the usage in the absence of specific instructions not to? Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 3:20

1 Answer 1


No, but you could "make the most" of a situation.

  • to me this suggests that things are sub-optimal. Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 0:04

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