Difference Between Bring and Take

“Alright, so here’s the deal with ‘bring’ and ‘take.’ Think of it this way: if you’re moving something towards where you are, you ‘bring’ it. Like, ‘Hey, bring that book over here.’ On the flip side, if you’re moving something away from where you are, you ‘take’ it. For example, ‘Can you take this package to the post office?’ Easy peasy, right? Just gotta remember the direction, and you’re good to go!”

Bring vs Take

Comparison Chart

Basic MeaningMove something towards the speaker (or a specified location)Move something away from the speaker (or a specified location)
PerspectiveSpeaker is the destinationSpeaker is the starting point
Example Sentence“Please bring your lunch to school.”“I’m going to take a nap.”
Who Initiates the ActionCan be the speaker or someone elseUsually the speaker themself
Additional MeaningsIntroduce, cause to come, result inReceive, choose, occupy
Example (Additional Meaning)“She brought a smile to everyone’s face.”Take a seat.”

When to Use Bring?

‘Bring’ comes from the Old English word ‘bran.’ This word has its origins in the Old Germanic language branan. Branan means ‘to fructify.’ During the Middle English period, bran became bran to avoid confusion with the bird named raven. In addition, the suffix -er was added to make the word ‘brun-er.’ This alteration stuck and is used today as a way of describing someone or something brown. Essentially, it is an alteration of a common Old English word.

The other origin of ‘bring’ is a cognate of Old English branan. The modern spelling of bring is also in keeping with this common root. Another interesting thing to note about bring is that it comes from the Old Norse verb brugja or ‘to carry.’ In old Norse, borð or ‘carry’ also came from the same source as bring. These are interesting facts since many thinks ‘bring’ comes from the Old Norse word borð. However, this is not true; instead, borð is a borrowing of bring into old Norse.

There are many different meanings for bring in contemporary usage. The most common meaning of bring today is to take something somewhere else. For example: A truck driver brings things from one place to another every day. Another way that bring is used today is as a synonym for bear or carry. For example: ‘We need to bring these chairs inside.’ In addition, bringing can refer to conveying knowledge or information from one place to another- for example, bringing science to life through technology or bringing history to life through oral tradition.

What is Bring

Bringing Objects or People Towards the Speaker (Directionality)

When the intended action involves moving an object or a person toward the speaker, “bring” is the appropriate choice. For example, if you want someone to carry a book to you, you would say, “Please bring me the book.” This usage highlights the directional aspect of the action, indicating a movement toward the speaker.

Requests or Commands

“Bring” is employed in making requests or giving commands. This usage emphasizes the speaker’s desire for someone to bring a specific item or individual. For instance, a teacher might instruct a student, “Bring your homework to class tomorrow.” In this context, the verb conveys a sense of obligation or expectation.

Invitations and Hospitality

The use of “bring” is also prevalent when extending invitations or expressing hospitality. For instance, when hosting an event, a person might say, “Feel free to bring a friend.” This usage implies that attendees are welcome to bring someone along, enhancing the social aspect of the gathering.

Cause and Effect

“Bring” can convey a cause-and-effect relationship, particularly when discussing outcomes or consequences. For example, “Studying hard will bring success.” In this case, the verb emphasizes the notion that diligent studying will result in achieving success.

Figurative or Symbolic Usage

Beyond the literal sense, “bring” can be employed figuratively or symbolically. For instance, someone might say, “Her speech brought tears to my eyes.” In this context, the verb is used to express the emotional impact or influence that the speech had on the listener.

Time-Dependent Situations

“Bring” is applicable in scenarios where the timing of an action is crucial. For instance, if discussing a future event, one might say, “I will bring it up during the meeting tomorrow.” Here, the verb signifies the intention to introduce a topic at a specific time.

When to Use Take?

Whereas ‘take’ comes from the Old English verb takin, which means ‘to grasp.’ The original derivation of take was from the Old French tailler, which came from the Latin verb capere meaning ‘to capture.’ Today, take refers to both a noun and an adjective. The noun take refers to a taking of property by authorities for payment or restitution under legal procedure.

 For example: A seizure occurs when authorities take property illegally under legal procedure using a court order. In addition, an emergency taking occurs when authorities take property without following proper procedure without court order. On the other hand, an act of taking can also refer to stealing something without paying for it- for example: You take something when you did not pay for it.

Taking Possession or Control

Taking Ownership

One primary usage of “take” involves expressing the act of taking possession or ownership of something. This could refer to acquiring property, objects, or responsibilities. For instance, “I will take the keys to the new house” signifies assuming control over the house keys.

Taking Control

In a broader sense, “take” is used to convey taking control or charge of a situation. Managers may say, “I will take charge of the project,” indicating their assumption of responsibility and leadership.

Expressing Action or Movement

Taking a Stance

“Take” is frequently used to express a physical or metaphorical action. For example, “Take a step forward” implies physically moving forward, while “Take a firm stance on the issue” conveys adopting a strong position on a particular matter.

Taking a Journey

In the context of travel, “take” is employed to describe embarking on a journey. “We will take a road trip to the mountains” signifies choosing a specific mode of transportation or route.

What is Take

Consuming or Ingesting

Taking Medication

In the medical realm, “take” is widely used when referring to the consumption of medication. Patients are instructed to “take one pill every six hours,” indicating the prescribed dosage.

Taking a Meal

Similarly, in daily life, “take” is employed to describe the act of consuming food. “Let’s take lunch at the new restaurant” implies the intention to eat or have a meal at that particular location.

Making Use of Opportunities

Taking Advantage

“Take” is also utilized to express seizing opportunities. “Take advantage of the discount” suggests making use of a favorable situation to gain benefits or savings.

Taking the Initiative

In professional and personal contexts, individuals may be encouraged to “take the initiative,” implying the proactive assumption of responsibility or leadership without waiting for directives.

Difference Between Bring and Take

  • Direction of Movement:
    • Bring: Implies movement toward the speaker or the location being referred to.
      • Example: “Please bring the documents to my office.”
    • Take: Implies movement away from the speaker or the location being referred to.
      • Example: “Take your backpack with you when you leave.”
  • Speaker’s Perspective:
    • Bring: The speaker stays in the same location.
      • Example: “I will bring snacks to the party.”
    • Take: The speaker moves from one location to another.
      • Example: “I’ll take my umbrella when I go outside.”
  • Object Ownership:
    • Bring: Implies that the object is being brought to the speaker or someone associated with the speaker.
      • Example: “Bring me the book on the table.”
    • Take: Implies that the object is being taken away from the speaker or someone associated with the speaker.
      • Example: “Take your shoes from the hallway.”
  • Temporal Aspect:
    • Bring: Focuses on the future movement of bringing something.
      • Example: “I will bring the report to the meeting tomorrow.”
    • Take: Often used to refer to present or immediate future movement.
      • Example: “I will take the kids to school in the morning.”
  • Context of Reference:
    • Bring: The reference point is where the speaker is or where they will be.
      • Example: “Can you bring the car around to the front of the house?”
    • Take: The reference point is where the speaker is not or where they will not be.
      • Example: “Please take the package to the post office.”
  • Recipient Perspective:
    • Bring: Implies bringing something to the speaker or someone associated with the speaker.
      • Example: “Bring me a glass of water, please.”
    • Take: Implies taking something from the speaker or someone associated with the speaker.
      • Example: “Take a piece of cake for yourself.”


  1. https://books.google.com.pk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=9rJiC1gP_0wC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=history+of+english+and+words+&ots=j-J3ik_Jp5&sig=78m58PK0_TxoWrB6kzAc62KH2M4&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=history%20of%20english%20and%20words&f=false
  2. https://academic.oup.com/eltj/article-abstract/XXVII/2/137/667695