Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bring or Take?

"Bring me the ball, Willie."

Ever have a problem with bring and take? I see the two words misused more often than I would expect, but I have to stop and think about which one is correct sometimes too. It's all about the place of speaking.

When the verb to bring indicates physical movement, it means to move it in the direction of the speaker, to bring something to or toward oneself. It denotes movement toward the place of speaking or the point from which the action is regarded. If Max is doing the telling, he could see that Dave brings a cup with him (toward Max). "Bring the cup to me," Max said.
If no movement is implied, bring may be used to mean produce; for example, The new regulations could bring improvements to low-income housing.

Take, the opposite of bring, indicates movement away from the place of speaking. "Take this cup to Mary," Max said. He took the cards to the party. The action in both examples is moving away from the place of speaking, going toward another place.


Polly Iyer said...

I've gotten this wrong many times. Not in writing so much as in speaking, probably because I have more time thinking when I'm writing.

Leslie Ann aka LA said...

Man, this is great. I love active, examples in lessons like this. Bravo.

Now, let's see if this lesson will bring improvements to my writing.

Did I use it correctly? If NOT tell me :)


Ellis Vidler said...

Polly and Leslie, I find gray areas where I have to figure it out. In speech, I know I get it wrong. Probably sometimes in writing too.

IF I spot it, I'll tell you, but you have to do the same for me. :-)

laura thomas said...

Interesting guide. I'm saving this to my tips folder.
I'm curious and going to check my reviews to see if I made these mistakes.