I'm not a native English speaker and I was just wondering if take a sauna is a correct way to say that I'm going to sauna, the same way you can say take a shower. I have tried to search this up online, and the expression appears in some forum posts and guides but I can't find anything official.

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    This is a tough one for native speakers. Saunas are not common in America, except in Finnish communities. That makes them special, and the rules more arbitrary. I'm sure Finnish has a verb based on sauna, but English doesn't. The most likely one is probly have a sauna; take a sauna makes it sound like a personal cleansing event, like shower or shit (which can also be verbs). That may be appropriate, for some people and some saunas; but have assumes less. – John Lawler May 27 '16 at 17:13
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    I'm a Brit, and have often had saunas in Germany, and have also had them in the UK & elsewhere. Personally, I would normally say "have a bath / shower / sauna". – TrevorD May 27 '16 at 17:35
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    @Rathony that could also be a good way to express it. And as a side note, you could argue that saunas are private (in Finland at least), as many households have their own saunas, but this is a little off-topic. – imas145 May 27 '16 at 17:45
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    Sauna: (a period of time spent in) a room or small building, often with wood attached to the walls, that is heated to a high temperature, usually with steam: have/go for/take a sauna - dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/sauna - He talked about the benefits of taking a sauna regularly. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sauna – user66974 May 27 '16 at 17:46
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    @Josh61 That should be an answer. – NVZ May 27 '16 at 20:38

Wiktionary has an appendix that includes collocations of 'take' and 'have'. It includes "'take'/'have' a bath" and "'take'/'have' a shower". 'Take' is more common in the US, 'have' in the UK.

The good news is that both terms are intelligible on both sides of the Pond and that most civilized people on either side wouldn't hold it against you that you used the less common, less preferred version.

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I never take a shower or a sauna. To where would I take them? I typically shower (i.e. use the noun as a verb), but I'm not happy with sauna as a verb. I tend to "use the sauna" or "go into the sauna". I don't even like to "have" a shower or a sauna; to me this simply implies ownership. (I used to be able to "bathe" but I no longer have a bath, having replaced mine with a shower.)

I dislike both, but find "have" preferable to "take". Although, American probably favours "take".

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    So, do you never take a photo? And you never have breakfast because that would mean you possess this meal.... – Mari-Lou A May 29 '16 at 11:51
  • This could be a good comment, not a good answer, IMHO. – NVZ May 29 '16 at 17:33
  • I definitely TAKE a photo. I have something that I did not previously have: I took it. I tend to EAT breakfast, since I already have it. We could wait along time for an answer to a question which is subjective. That which is in common use tends to become the correct way of using it. If having a sauna is the most broadly used, have saunas. The language is dynamic. It's not French. – KDM May 29 '16 at 17:54

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