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Michael IELTS Band 9
Professional Teacher
Everyday UK Expressions (7): It takes all sorts (to make the world go round)

It takes all sorts (to make the world go round)

I overheard this expression yesterday while I was out and about in Birmingham.  Normally, people just say “it takes all sorts”, and the rest is implied.  Here is an example:

“I read in the newspaper today that a man won an award for living as a goat with other goats for a year, and even used two artificial legs.  (sigh) I suppose it takes all sorts.”

My story about the goat-man is true by the way.  He was British, but I am not sure if this achievement is something we should be proud of!

Anyway, the meaning is this: we may think that some people are crazy, but even the crazy people have their place in the world; we should accept this, even if we are reluctant.

Can you give us your own short stories which finish with, “It takes all sorts”?

Do you know of any common expressions with this structure: “It takes + noun + to + base infinitive”?

[The original phrase seems to be “it takes all sorts to make a world”, according to Oxford and Cambridge, although I must confess I have never heard this.
Cambridge and other sources indicate that the US equivalent expression is: “It takes all kinds.”  “kind” and “sort” are synonyms.]

Sep 25, 2016 8:17 AM
Comments · 10

We say "Each person gets crazy in their own way" ("Каждый с ума сходит по-своему"). So, it takes all sorts. And the world still goes round!

Thanks, Michael.

September 27, 2016
Good work, Fenfen.  You've got the right approach to learning idioms.  Idioms are very expressive and student's won't use many of them correctly the first time they try. But then you get feedback and try again, and like you have shown, you can improve.
September 27, 2016

Oops. Please tell me this time I'm right. The man is crazy enough.

-It’s snowing outside but a man is swimming in the river. I suppose it takes all sorts.

September 27, 2016

Hi Fenfen, Your second sentence - about the mountain - is perfect.  In your first sentence, the behaviour is not crazy and so the expression doesn't apply.  My example about the goat-man illustrated that some people are crazy.

Thanks for your comment, Natalia.

September 27, 2016
Thank you very much for you Everyday Uk Expressions, Michael. I always look forward to a new one. But it took me a lot of time to make a sentence with "it takes all sorts" expression.:-)
September 27, 2016
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Michael IELTS Band 9
Language Skills
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Learning Language
German, Italian