I’m going to “get a shower” is what I said my whole life. Maybe sometimes I would say “grab a shower”. It wasn’t until college that I heard others say “take a shower”. Most recently when I began traveling, I hear people say “have a shower”.
Is it correct to say take a shower, have a shower, or get a shower?
Let me first just come out and say that after my keyword research, I discovered that “take a shower” is most common.
Furthermore, “have a shower” and “get a shower” are not wrong. All three ways of expressing your desire to shower are semantically correct.
According to a study done at The University of Arizona, the words ‘have’, ‘take’, and ‘get’ act as light verbs in this case.
For instance, the verb have functions as a light verb in expressions such as have a rest. The verb is syntactically functional and participates in different conjugations (ie., He is having a rest). However, the expression does not mean ‘to own a rest’. Rather, light verbs are known as ‘helping’ predication of, for instance, complexes (ie., have a rest, take a shower).
― Mercedes Tubino Blanco, Contrasting Causatives: A Minimalist Approach
It seems like it depends on what part of the United States or what part of the world you are from. Like I said, it wasn’t until I went off to college and traveled overseas and met people from the United Kingdom and Australia that I began hearing the expression “take a shower” and “have a shower” respectively.
Take a Shower vs Have a Shower vs Get a ShowerThis table summarizes the monthly search volume for take a shower, have a shower, and get a shower in the English speaking countries of United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
|United States||United Kingdom||Australia|
|Take a shower||4,400||320||170|
|Have a shower||10||260||170|
|Get a shower||110||10||0|
Although this study is rudimentary, it provides a general overview of the popularity of the phrases in each country. Here are some key takeaways.
- The most popular way to express one’s desire to shower in the United States is “take a shower”
- Significantly more people say “get a shower” than “have a shower” in the United States
- “Have a shower” and “take a shower” are common in the United Kingdom
- Saying “take a shower” is equally as common as “have a shower” in Australia
- The most search volume for “have a shower” was in the United Kingdom
- There is no search volume for “get a shower” in Australia
Do you say take, have, or get a shower? Let me know which one you say the most and where you’re from in the comments below, and check out some of my other language blog posts here.