Bryan A. Garner is the award-winning author or editor of more than 20 books. Garner’s Modern American Usage has established itself as the preeminent contemporary guide to the effective use of the English language. The 3rd edition, which was just published, has been thoroughly updated with new material on nearly every page. Below we have posted one of his daily usage tips about the word “partake”. To subscribe to his daily tips click here.
“Partake” is construed with either “in” or “of” in the sense “to take part or share in some action or condition; to participate.”
“In” is the more common preposition in this sense — e.g.: “From 5 to 5:30 p.m., members will meet and partake in a wine and cheese reception.” Joan Szeglowski, “Town ‘N’ Country,” Tampa Trib., 10 Sept. 1997, at 4.
“Of” is common when the sense is “to receive, get, or have a share or portion of” — e.g.: “So should one partake of Chinese cuisine, British history and Clint Eastwood?” T. Collins, “Carryout, Videos Make Dating Like Staying Home,” Courier-J. (Louisville), 12 Sept. 1997, at W27.