3

Когда таланта нет, приходится брать упорством.

=??? ..., you have to be persistent.

I wonder if "брать + instrumental noun" makes for some idiomatic expression?

  • I recommend you to use google or yandex - and there's no slightest tint of irony in my words - when you search in quotes - "брать упорством" - you search for exact matches, and it can give you pretty overview. – shabunc Jul 4 '18 at 21:09
  • "брать + instrumental noun" means "To get (to achieve) [something] by using <noun>" – Alexander Jul 5 '18 at 21:00
6

Other similar examples would be: "брать измором" -- "to wear down (the issue, person, etc.)"; "брать нервом" (oldish; used in 1930s "Вратарь республики") -- "to do/achieve by the strength of spirit, not by physical strength"; "брать нахрапом" -- "to get/achieve (something) by being extremely pushy".

4

It does. The phrase means to conquer with perseverance

Брать here is to conquer, to capture, to seize in a military sense or simply to take which in English to the best of my knowledge can also have that meaning.

There's a proverb:

Смелость города берёт

Which means that towns or castles can be captured with enough courage and bravery.

  • In this very phrase it means "to achieve (being persistent)". – Abakan Jul 4 '18 at 20:28

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