take pains

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take (great) pains (to do something)

To expend a lot of time and energy doing something. Your parents took great pains to ensure that you would have enough money for college. My grandmother always took pains to look her best, so losing her hair during her cancer treatment was especially difficult for her.
See also: pain, take

take (great) pains over (something)

To expend a lot of time, effort, and care doing something. Your tutor took great pains over your instruction, but it's obvious that you've totally wasted his time and our money! It's clear that the owners have taken great pains over the interior design of the new restaurant. My grandmother always took pains over her appearance throughout her life, so losing her hair during her cancer treatment was especially difficult for her.
See also: over, pain, take

take (great) pains with (something)

To expend a lot of time, effort, and care doing something. Your tutor took great pains with your instruction, but it's obvious that you've totally wasted his time and our money! It's clear that the owners have taken great pains with the interior design of the new restaurant. My grandmother always took pains with her appearance throughout her life, so losing her hair during her cancer treatment was especially difficult for her.
See also: pain, take

take (great) pains (to do something)

Fig. to make a great effort to do something. Tom took pains to decorate the room exactly right. We took great pains to get there on time.
See also: pain, take

take pains, to

To make a laborious effort; to take assiduous care. The use of pains for “troubles” dates from Shakespeare’s time and survives mainly in this cliché (and in the adjective painstaking). “Yet much he praised the pains he took, And well those pains did pay,” wrote Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808).
See also: take