Grammar Chaos: What’s the Difference between Bring and Take?

Posted on Jul 19, 2017


When do you bring something? When do you take something? We’re here to find out.

Bring vs Take

A lot of people, regardless of their mastery of the English language, slip up when it comes to using bring or take. In informal speech, bring and take are used interchangeably. Bring and take have pretty similar meanings as well. Bring means to come with something (or someone) to a place. Take means to carry or move something to a place.


When bring is used, the movement is toward or with the speaker. See the examples below:

  1. Bring me my purse, will you?

  2. I’m bringing you medicine for that nasty cough.

  3. Mom’s bringing us pizza for dinner.


When take is used, the movement is away from the speaker. Here are some examples.

  1. Take these chips away from me.

  2. Can you take this money and pay for the bills?

  3. You should take the medicine that I brought you.


Pretty easy, right? So why do people mess it up so often? One theory is abstract usage. Many idioms such as “take a bath” or “bring someone down” and phrasal verbs like “bring up” and “take after” do not specify direction.


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So if you’re still confused, you can just use the same trick we use with come and go. Bring moves toward the speaker; take moves away from the speaker.




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