SOS English: bring vs. take

Believe it or not: there are plenty of people who confuse the verbs “bring” and “take” – and that’s for a good reason since both words describe the movement of something from one location to another, and mostly it’s a matter of formality. Even native speakers often use these verbs interchangeably in speech and writing, but it can’t hurt to know the key differences. So, let’s have a look!

Bring (toward a location)

When we use the word “bring”, we usually talk about objects that others should bring with them to us or vice versa when we bring something to another person. We always use “bring” in relation to a specific destination.

Did you bring me the sweater from the living room?
Don’t forget to bring your homework tomorrow.
I brought some pizza to the party yesterday evening.
Can I bring my dog?
She wasn’t allowed to bring her own pen and paper to the exam.

πŸ’‘ the movement is either toward the speaker or listener

πŸ’‘ i.g.: you carry something along with you

πŸ’‘ in can be literal or figurative

Take (away from a location)

Like the word “bring,” “take” is used to describe the movement of an object – either literally or figurative. The difference here, however, is that the object is taken away from a location. It also relates to a starting point.

I always take my dog for a walk in the morning before I leave for work.
Take a pen from my desk and start with your assignment.
She couldn’t take the bike to go to school since it was heavily raining.
They took his expensive bottle of gin away from him when he went through the airport’s security screening.
Take this lucky charm with you when you leave tomorrow.

πŸ’‘ the object is taken away from the speaker/listener or specific location

πŸ’‘ in can be literal or figurative