This particular confusion arose in a listserve I subscribe to and intrigued me. Enough so that I’m sticking it to you!
The trick with partake in is the in. Think of it as being involved, jumping in to negotiate, sitting in on meetings, etc.
As for partake of, I do love the juxtaposition of such a snooty phrase with its more slangy wolf down, and yet both mean the same thing. I do love words, and I so enjoy the English language…!
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Partake In||Partake Of|
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Verb, intransitive & transitive|
|Third person present verb: partakes in/of
Past tense: partook in/of
past participle: have partaken in/of
Gerund or present participle: partaking in/of
[Formal] To take or have a part or share an activity along with others
Participate in, take part in, engage in, join in, enter into, get involved in, share in, contribute to, play a part in, have a hand in, sit in on
|Eat or drink OR an attribute
To take or have a part or share food, drink, or a quality or attribute with others
To receive, take, or have a share or portion
To have something of the nature or character
Have the qualities/attributes of, suggest, evoke, be characterized by, hint at, manifest, evince
Consume, have, eat, drink, take, ingest, devour
[Informal] Wolf down, polish off, tuck into
|Only senior officers are allowed to partake in the negotiations.
Visitors can partake in golfing or clay pigeon shooting.
He won’t partake in the birthday celebration.
Come along and partake in the excitement!
|Those averse to sushi can partake of the hot buffet.
The lyric essay partakes of the poem in its distillation of ideas and musicality of language.
Would you care to partake of a case of beer with us?
And each partook of the bread and wine offered unto him.
Adjective: partakable, unpartaken, unpartaking
Verb, intransitive: prepartake, prepartook, prepartaken, prepartaking
|History of the Word:|
|Mid-16th century as a back-formation from earlier partaker meaning person who takes a part.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!
Pinterest Photo Credits:
“Ben’s Tailgate Party” by Ben Vardi is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.