Bring and Take

Contrary to what some might believe, bring and take are oftentimes interchangeable. While there may be those who prefer to observe a distinction between bring and take, it does not mean that those who do not observe this distinction are wrong.

Oftentimes the choice between take and bring depends on the speaker’s point of view.

He brings his lunch to work every day.

• emphasizes movement in the direction of the destination

She takes her lunch to work every day.

• emphasizes movement away from the starting point

This is the idea:

take their lunch away from home. They bring their lunch to their workplace.

It’s going to rain. Remember to take an umbrella with you.

• carry it with you from the point at which you start

It’s going to rain. Remember to bring an umbrella with you.

• carry it with you to your destination

take away – go away – go from – leave – remove

Bring to – go to - come to – arrive – put

In most dialects of American English bring is used to denote motion toward the place of speaking or the place from which the action is regarded:

• Bring it over here.

• The prime minister brought a large retinue to Washington with her.

Take is used to denote motion away from such a place:

• Take it over there.

• The President will take several advisers with him when he goes to Moscow.

When the relevant point of focus is not the place of speaking itself, the difference obviously depends on the context. We can say either.

• The labor leaders brought or took their requests to the mayor's office.

It is depending on whether we want to describe things from the point of view of the labor leaders or the mayor. Perhaps for this reason, the distinction between bring and take has been blurred in some areas; a parent may say of a child, for example,

• She always takes a pile of books home with her from school.

This usage may sound curious to those who are accustomed to observe the distinction more strictly, but it bears no particular stigma of incorrectness or illiteracy.

The form brung is common in colloquial use in many areas, even among educated speakers, but it is not standard in formal writing.

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