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HAVE and TAKE are often used with nouns like a shower, a break, a look, etc. They are called DELEXICAL VERBS because the important part of the meaning is taken out of the verb and put into the noun.

"Thanks for coming in. Please, have/take a seat."

Both verbs are used with:

washing: a bath/a shower/a wash/a scrub, etc
resting: a break/a holiday/a rest/a nap, etc.
having a seat: a seat/a pew/a chair, etc.
being tested to demonstrate knowledge: an exam/a test/a quiz, etc

TAKE, in AmE, is usually used instead of HAVE when referring to these activities. Sometimes both verbs can be found with no change of meaning on both sides of the Atlantic, e.g. have/take a look/a bite/a test/a nap/a break*, etc.

"I'm tired. Let's take/have a break."

Some users feel that take is a more forceful and commanding word than have, and sometimes has a slight connotation of request or command, whereas have sometimes indicates permission or offering.

"In imperative speech, to my BrE ears 'take' not 'have' would sound grating and very slightly assertive."

Some users also state that take would be used more where there is no option to refuse or it is required.

"I'm from the US and I don't make any distinction at all."

So, a police officer brings you in for questioning and tells you to take a seat, but if you go over to a friend's house they ask you to have a seat (though they could use 'take a seat' as well).

"Take sounds a little more American to me, but otherwise I don't perceive any difference between them."

That said, in conversation, the difference would all be in the tone of voice used. You could use 'have a seat' in a commanding or threatening manner, or 'take a seat' in a jovial, offering manner.

"I have a Canadian friend (Ontario) who tends to say 'have a nap' yet people in New York say 'take a nap'. 

In pure text with no voice though, take would often be more forceful than have.

"If you're referring to yourself, 'I'll have/take a look' means the same thing."

All in all, while many users feel that when both verbs can be used interchangeably, some state take is more focused on action; it may sound like demanding a certain action, while have conveys as neutral or as an offering. Of course, it depends on tones in speech a lot. 

*Note that HAVE A BREAK (more often GET A BREAK) also means to be lucky.

"We finally had/got the big break in life."

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