Truth conditional differences between these?

Hi all,

In the context of discussing light verb constructions, we came to these examples:

(1) Kim took the train.
(2) Kim rode the train.

I’d like to say that they don’t mean exactly the same thing — there’s some nuance added by ride that’s absent with take, but I’m hard pressed to come up with a situation in which (1) is true but not (2) or vice versa.

Any wisdom?


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As a non-native speaker, I can’t provide wisdom, only guesses! the bad ones probably… hahaha

But ‘ride’ implies the transportation, the motion. It sounds like talking about the entire event, the travel. In contrast, ‘take a train,’ seems to be more focused on the starting point of the travel. Both have the same translation in Portuguese:

  1. Kim pegou o term.

Wordnet says:

  1. take = OpenWordnet-PT Browser 01842690-v hyponym of apply ??

  2. ride =

I would broadly agree. To my mind, to ride a train is the act of being on a train in motion, but to take a train is the act of using a train service.

I think I may have an example, though it needs context: at the zoo in Indianapolis, there is a train that runs on a circuit with narrated tours. I would think it reasonable to say “Kim rode the train at the zoo” but not “Kim took the train at the zoo.” (But also “Kim took the train ride at the zoo” would work).

Another example of a distinction might be
“The parrot rode the model train”
but not
“The parrot took the model train”


Ah, thanks! So take the train always entails ride the train, but not vice versa.

I came to the same general conclusion. I think I like the attraction train example more, but the example I came up with was I think “rode the train” would not be appropriate and/or would need to be used sarcastically if someone was train hopping, i.e. riding illegally on the outside of a train.