Is the expression take attention away something that sounds okay in English? I'm a Portuguese speaker, so tirar atenção is a normal expression, so I don't know to what extent I'm writing a natural English expression or just letting Portuguese influence my foreign language knowledge. Let me give you an example:

"The pursuit of photorealism often takes attention away from other aspects of game design."

Does this sound natural, or would there be any other way to convey the same meaning?

  • 7
    Your use of take attention away sounds perfectly fine to my ear (west coast US). Diverts, as @lbf suggested is also acceptable, though it sounds more formal to me. Sep 27, 2018 at 23:09
  • @RogerSinasohn concur. Sounds fine to me. Northeast US.
    – sas08
    Aug 7, 2019 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


divert TFD idiomatic

divert (someone or something) from (someone or something) To induce someone or something to change course or direct their attention to something else.


The pursuit of photo-realism often diverts attention away from other aspects of game design."

The OED list 11 examples of diverting attention, two examples of taking attention.

  • 1
    I would also suggest 'distract attention' Sep 28, 2018 at 12:37
  • @Kate or simply 'disract' Aug 7, 2019 at 20:58

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