Difference Between Bring and Take (With Table)

Bring and take are the two terms that are quite simple to understand, but still, most people are confused about it.

When you are carrying something with yourself, bring is the correct word to use here whereas when you are carrying something away then take is the word to use. Both words might indicate similar use. But once you understand the key factor, whether the movement is happening towards or away from the speaker, you can distinguish between both the terms very easily.

Bring vs Take

The difference between Bring and Take is that ‘bring’ states the motion towards a destination whereas ‘take’ shows the movement away from the initial or starting point. For example, “Bring some food to my house” and “You can take this book from me”.

To put it simply, use “bring” to get something to you and use “take” to give something away. In this way, you will always remember the uses of both words.

Comparison Table Between Bring and Take

Parameter of ComparisonBringTake
MovementHere movement occurs towards the speaker. For example, Brad told Jim to bring some food with him. Here the movement of food will clearly happen towards the speaker, who is Brad in this case. Therefore, the word Bring is used here.Movement happens away from the speaker. For example, Brad told Jim to take the car from his garage to the party. Here the movement of the car will happen away from the speaker, Brad. So the word Take is used here.
Differentiating factorIn case of bring, something is carried towards someone.In case of take, something is carried away from someone.
PositionThe motion occurs towards the destination.The motion occurs away from the initial or starting point.
Present ParticipleBringingTaking
Past Participle and Perfect ParticipleBroughtTaken

What is Bring?

Bring is a verb that is used to denote movement towards someone or something. Like, Martin said, “Bring some food to the party”. Here bring is showing the movement of food towards the speaker.

You can’t phrase the sentence like Take some food to the party as this is changing the meaning of what Martin is trying to say.

The same way you can ask someone Can I bring my cousin to your house? But you cannot say it like Can I take my cousin to your house as this is totally incorrect in relation to what you are trying to say.

The other person will also reply to you the same way, for example, You can bring your cousin to my house or Please, bring some food to the party.

The use of bring totally depends on the direction in which the movement is happening. Once you can understand in which direction the movement is taking place, you can easily decide whether to use bring or take in a certain sentence.

Always think about where the direction of motion is in the sentence. If it’s towards the speaker then use the word Bring with no doubt in mind.

What is Take?

Take is also a verb and is used to denote movement away from someone or something. Like Martin said, “Take this book with you”. In this case, the book has to be carried away from the speaker, so the word take has to be used here.

Whenever the action is showing movement away from the starting or initial point, it is definite that take will be used here. Again, it’s the direction of the action which tells you whether to use Bring or Take in a particular sentence.

It is not that difficult to decide what to use where once you learn to differentiate between the action taking place towards the speaker or taking place away from the speaker.

Sometimes, take is used in different ways, too. For example, Reading all these books would take too long. In this sentence, the word ‘take’ is used as a synonym for the word ‘use’. It is expressing here that reading these books will use too much of time.

Similarly, you can say Take the first left and then a right and you reach the college. Here, take is also used as a synonym for the word ‘use’.

Main Differences Between Bring and Take

  1. Bring is used when the motion of something is happening towards the speaker. While Take is used when movement is happening away from the speaker.
  2. When you ask someone to deliver something to you, you need to use the word “Bring”. However, when you ask someone to lay hold of something from you, you are required to use the word Take.
  3. Bring is used when you want to show the motion to a destination. However, Take is used when you want to show the motion away from the initiation point.
  4. The present participle for ‘Bring’ is ‘bringing’, while for the word ‘Take’, it’s ‘taking’.
  5. Bring is used when the speaker wants or gets something. For example, Robert brought this cake to me.
    However, Take can also be used in the place of the word ‘use’. For example, Take this road and keep driving until you reach your destination.

Conclusion

Bring and Take might seem to have similar use but they are different. Bring is used when the action is happening towards the speaker while Take is used when the movement is happening away from the speaker.

Both words can be distinguished based on the context they have been used in. The direction of the motion tells you clearly what word should be used in a sentence.

Whenever you see the action approaching the speaker, you need to go with the word bring. However, when the action is occurring away from the starting point, the word take is used.

You can understand the use of ‘bring’ and ‘take’ better by this example, Luther asked Jimmy to bring some clothes. In this sentence, the clothes have to be brought by Jimmy towards Luther, who is the speaker. Therefore, the word Bring is used.

Similarly, take a look at this sentence, Luther asked Jimmy to take the laptop with him. In this case, the laptop will be taken away from the speaker, Luther. So the word Take is used here. This is how knowing where the movement is happening, you can differentiate between both.

References

  1. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/bring
  2. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/take
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