(It) takes one to know one.
Inf. You are one also. A: You are a stupid oaf. B: So are you. It takes one to know one.
(It) takes two to tango.
Prov. Some things cannot happen by one person acting alone. Alan: You’re always arguing! Stop arguing all the time. Jane: I can’t argue all by myself. It takes two to tango. Fred: Did you hear? Janice got herself pregnant. Jill: Well, she didn’t do it all by herself. Takes two to tango, you know.
as a duck takes to water
Cliché easily and naturally. She took to singing just as a duck takes to water. The baby adapted to the bottle as a duck takes to water.
difficult is done at once; the impossible takes a little longer
Prov. Tasks that are only difficult are done immediately, harder tasks take longer. (Describes a very competent group or person.) The secretary in our office is extremely capable. She has a little sign on her desk that says, “The difficult is done at once; the impossible takes a little longer.” In her case, it’s not a joke.
God takes soonest those he loveth best.
Prov. Good people often die young. The minister told the boy’s grieving parents that God takes soonest those he loveth best. It may seem to us that Nancy was too young to die, but God takes soonest those he loveth best.
have what it takes and have got what it takes
to have the skills, power, intelligence, etc., to do something. I know I’ve got what it takes. I guess I don’t have what it takes to be a composer.
It takes (some) getting used to.
It is very unpleasant at first, but after a time it will not be so bothersome. (Said in recognition of the unpleasantness of something.) I never ate raw oysters before. It takes some getting used to. These hot Mexican dishes seem impossible at first. They take some getting used to, I agree. But it’s worth it.
It takes all kinds (to make a world).
Fig. There are many different kinds of people, and you should not condemn them for being different. Jill: Eleanor’s trying another fad diet. This week she’s sprinkling dried algae on all her food. Jane: It takes all kinds. Child: Mommy, I saw a weird man today. He was walking down the street singing real loud. I wish they’d put weird people like that away. Mother: Now, now, honey, it takes all kinds to make a world.
It takes money to make money.
Prov. In order to make money, you must first have some money to invest.I’ve been reading a lot of books about how to become wealthy, and they all make it depressingly clear that it takes money to make money.
It takes two to make a bargain.
Prov. Both parties in a negotiation must agree in order for the negotiation to be successful. Jill: You’ll give me a ride to work every day this week, like we agreed, won’t you? Jane: Wait a minute. I only said I’d give you a ride to work today. It takes two to make a bargain. Ellen: We decided you should make dinner tonight, right? Fred: No, we didn’t decide that; you decided that. It takes two to make a bargain.
It takes two to make a quarrel.
Prov. An argument is never only one person’s fault.; If the other person refuses to participate, there cannot be an argument. Sue: I think Mimi ought to apologize for arguing with me. Mother: It takes two to make a quarrel, dear. Maybe you ought to apologize to her. Jill: Why are you always so quarrelsome? Jane: Hey, it’s not just my fault. It takes two to make a quarrel.
That takes care of that.
Inf. That is settled. That takes care of that, and I’m glad it’s over. I spent all morning dealing with this matter, and that takes care of that.
That takes the cake!
1. Inf. That is good, and it wins the prize! (Assuming that the prize is a cake.) “What a performance!” cheered John. “That takes the cake!” Sue: Wow! That takes the cake! What a dive! Rachel: She sure can dive!
2. Inf. That is too much; That does it! Bob: What a dumb thing to do, Fred! Erik: Yeah, Fred. That takes the cake! Bob: Wow! That takes the cake! Bill: What is it? Bob: That stupid driver in front of me just hit the car on the left and then swung over and hit the car on the right.
You pays your money and you takes your chance(s).
Prov. You must resign yourself to taking risks.; Everything costs something, but paying for something does not guarantee that you will get it. (The grammatical errors are intentional.) Customer: Can you guarantee that this washing machine won’t break? Salesman: No guarantees. You pays your money and you takes your chances.
It takes all sorts (to make a world).
something that you say which means that all people are different and even strange people should be accepted Now the couple next door, they go swimming in the sea in the middle of winter. Well, it takes all sorts, as they say.
It takes two to tango.
something that you say which means if two people were involved in a bad situation, both must be responsible
Usage notes: A tango is a South American dance for two people.
‘She blames Tracy for stealing her husband.’ ‘Well, it takes two to tango.’