By Thomas Hsieh

2015-04-20 05:20:55 8 Comments

For more than a decade, I have always seen/used the phrase "Take/Consider ... as an example" followed by a comma. Then, my recent visit on this page got me confused and raised more questions in me.

Are the two phrases interchangeable, or do they differ in meaning/usage? Also, should either phrase be followed by a comma, or can it be a period or en-dash, depending on the context?

Below are some sample sentences to better illustrate my doubts:

  • "Take myself as an example, I threw a punch on the wall in response to his ignorance."

  • "Take Applebee's for example. the waiters and waitresses there have no cultural awareness."

  • "Consider your roommate for example – Her manner is definitely one of a kind."

  • "Consider this PC as an example. The slightest scar on it is not acceptable to comply with her standard."

Are these sentences all valid?

Thanks in advance!


@user117886 2015-04-20 21:16:15

Your take/consider constructions seem like independent clauses (of the imperative variety). As such, common usage would suggest using the colon, dash, or period to mark the boundary between clauses. Using a comma creates a comma splice.

@Thomas Hsieh 2015-05-02 11:06:56

That makes sense. So should it be " an example" or "Take...for example", or are both acceptable?

@John Lawler 2015-05-07 02:24:37

They're just two different ways to say the same thing. For example is a prepositional phrase, and so is as an example. The latter isn't idiomatic enough to have lost the article yet; but they're the same.

@Dan Bron 2015-05-07 02:52:47

@JohnLawler There are certain situations where you'd use "as an" but not "for", in particular when you're holding something up as a positive model to encourage its emulation. To take you as an example, I'm jealous that you know enough about syntax to recognize that idioms often lose their prepositions. Take me for example: I never noticed that.

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