What does "take it" mean here? and what does "it" refer to? I don't understand the whole phrase starting with "as."
In this case, "I take it" is an informal expression meaning to "suppose" or "assume" something, with "take" being similar in meaning to "suppose" and "assume." When the speaker says, "as I take it they were," we can understand him as meaning "as I assume/suppose they were ..." "I take it" is an expression that is used frequently in casual situations to express one's assumptions or thoughts. Ex: I take it you didn't get my call? (I assume you didn't get my call?) Ex: I take it (that) you didn't do your homework. (I assume (that) you didn't do your homework.)
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