The phrase "take advantage of" is usually perceived as negative. Is there a word or a phrase with a similar meaning which would convey a more positive meaning? Akin to "make use of the situation" but more refined.

6 Answers 6



"Games and songs provide the perfect opportunity for classroom interaction and language development."

and also Golden opportunity - a very good chance to do or achieve something


You can try harness

: utilize

Or change the sentence structure where you can use the word "leverage"


To say "take advantage of someone" definitely has a negative connotation, but not necessarily so when you say "take advantage of an opportunity". Even to say "to take advantage of someone's knowledge" isn't necessarily negative.

  • 2
    The context is very sensitive, as the same party that's taking advantage of the situation can be regarded as either good or bad.
    – Suzy
    Jul 24, 2013 at 7:07

A positive use:- I'm going to sit in my garden and take advantage of this glorious weather


A verb that is widely used in Irish English (but in Britain sounds slightly old-fashioned) is

to avail of

For example, you can avail of a special offer, or avail of someone's generosity.

I do not know if this is used in the US.

  • 1
    The grammatically correct usage is "to avail oneself of"
    – moonstar
    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:52
  • @moonstar2001, the elliptical ‘avail of’ is not grammatically incorrect as such, it is just rarer and more old-fashioned (except in Ireland). Especially Shakespeare was fond of the elliptical construction; and when used in the passive, only the elliptical version is found: “Power must be availed of” (Emerson, Conduct of Life). Jul 24, 2013 at 10:10

I'm writing a paper and need a way of saying 'to take advantage of' an opportunity in a way that is neutral and can be used by either a profit or nonprofit firm that perceives an opportunity to satisfy a human need. The closest word I have found is 'seize' an opportunity. This term is used in a framework for Dynamic Capabilities described by David Teece in 2007.

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