Quick answer
"Dar un examen" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to take an exam", and "tomar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to take". Learn more about the difference between "dar un examen" and "tomar" below.
dar un examen(
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (education)
Regionalism used in South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela
(South America)
a. to take an exam
Si vas a dar un examen, procura dormir bien la noche anterior.If you're going to take an exam, try to get a good night's sleep.
b. to take a test
Ayer di examen de matemáticas, pero aún no sé la calificación.I took a math test yesterday, but I don't know my grade yet.
c. to sit an exam (United Kingdom)
Yo ya di todos mis exámenes y ya acabé el curso.I sat all my exams, and my course is finished now.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to grab)
a. to take
Tomó el dinero y se lo metió en el bolsillo.He took the money and put it in his pocket.
2. (to consume)
a. to take (medication)
Él tiene que tomar sus medicamentos dos veces al día.He has to take his medication twice a day.
b. to have
Tomé atún para el almuerzo.I had tuna fish for lunch.
3. (to ride)
a. to take
Tuve que tomar el tren para ir a trabajar.I had to take the train to go to work.
4. (to seize)
a. to take
El enemigo tomó la ciudad en un día.The enemy took the city in a day.
5. (to absorb)
a. to get
Sal y toma un poco de aire fresco.Go out and get some fresh air.
Deja de jugar tantos videojuegos y sal a tomar el sol.Stop playing so many video games and go out and get some sun.
6. (to have as a drink)
a. to drink
Tienes que tomar mucha agua en estos días tan calurosos.You have to drink a lot of water on such hot days.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
7. (to have as a drink)
a. to drink
¿Ustedes desean algo para tomar?Would you like anything to drink?
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
8. (to experience)
a. to take
No te lo tomes a pecho pero no me gusta tu corte de pelo.Don't take it to heart, but I don't like your haircut.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
9. (to spend time)
a. to take
Necesito tomarme un respiro del trabajo.I need to take a break from work.
10. (to consume)
a. to have
Me voy a tomar un mojito.I'm going to have a mojito.
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