Bring vs. Take


When determining whether to use bring or take, consider movement.

Use bring when moving something toward a specific place or person.

Sally brings the potato salad to Jerry.
Frieda is bringing her salsa-dancing skills to the stage.
The dog brought his human to the park.

Use take when moving something away from a specific place or person.

Dolly takes the books from the library.
Marge is taking her favorite sweater back from Nina.
Larry took advice from his boss.

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Casual speech: When speaking with friends and others using informal speech, bring and take are often used interchangeably. However, it’s good to know the difference when the situation calls for formal speech or writing.

Choose either bring or take to fill in the blanks below.

  1. In the past, Marty always ______ his famous nacho cheese dip to the party.
  2. The dog ______ her leash to her human when she wants to go out.
  3. “I can’t stand Charles anymore,” she said. “All he does is ______ things from me!”
  4. Tracy is _______ what she learned in the classroom and is _______ it to the real world.
  5. Layla ______ her second-place trophy from the award table.


Answers: 1) brought 2) brings 3) take 4) taking, bringing 5) took

Erin Servais is the founder of Dot and Dash, LLC, an author-services company focusing on women writers and offering a range of book editing, author coaching, and social media packages.

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3 thoughts on “Bring vs. Take

  1. Bring and take are misused so often that most people don’t know the difference. I disagree with the comment on using bring and take interchangeably in casual speech, bring and take are two different words that mean two different things. When used correctly, bring and take are not interchangeable.

    The post says that we use bring when moving something toward a specific place or person, this is only partly correct. The use of bring indicates movement from a location towards the speaker, and take indicates the movement of something to another location away from the speaker. Another way to remember this is that we bring things here, and take things there.

    Example number one, Sally brings the potato salad to Jerry, is actually a common error. The example should read: Sally is taking the potato salad to Jerry. Bring it here and take it there. In example two, Frieda is bringing her salsa-dancing skills to the stage, is correct if the speaker is on the stage; otherwise Frieda is taking her skills to the stage. Example number three should read; the dog took its human to the park.

    Consider this in a different context; When someone orders fast food they might get a “to go” order. A “to go” order is also known as “take out”, they are taking the food from the restaurant to another location. No one orders fast food for bring out because it wouldn’t make any sense.

    We bring home a paycheck, and then take it to the bank.


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