Undertake,’ means to take responsibility for a job or task. The word ‘undertaker’ has quite a different meaning. An ‘undertaker’ is a person whose job involves arranging bodies and burying or cremating people who have died. Originally, 800 years ago ‘undertake’ meant ‘to trap,’ but the meaning now has settled on ‘taking responsibility for a job or a task.’ The noun is ‘undertaking’ and it means the job or task that someone is doing.
- Starting a new business is risky and is a huge undertaking.
- Starting out on a Ph.D is a huge undertaking.
- She decided to undertake the huge task of getting a Ph.D.
* note that ‘huge’ and ‘undertake’ often appear in the same sentence!
Collocations: When you learn new vocab, make sure that you note collocations too. For this group of words some collocations are:
stressed about, stress out, stress factors
sum up, sum of
undertake a task
Check the meanings of the words if you don’t already know them. Check the meanings of the various forms as sometimes they are different. You can check them at Time4english by clicking the words (http://www.time4english.com/aamain/lounge/awl.asp).
Complete the sentences below with the correct form of the word.
- How would you _______________ up your point of view? (sum, stress)
- She is quite ______________ about starting her new job. (stress, subsequent)
- It is quite a dangerous _______________. (sum, undertake)
- Her first exam results were very good and her _______________ exam results were even better. (summary, subsequent)
- I only saw the _______________, but it made the article seem quite interesting. (summary, undertake)
Answers (in the wrong order)
3. undertaking 1. sum 4. subsequent 2. stressed 5. summary