The verb ‘bring’ means ‘carry here.’ For example, you can tell someone: ‘bring me the book, please.’ If, at the time of speaking, you’re at work, you can say: ‘I forgot to bring my lunch to the office today!’ Again, the important thing to note is that when you said the above sentence, you were at work.

The verb ‘take’ means ‘carry there.’ In other words, when thinking of transporting something to any other place where you currently are NOT, the correct choice is ‘take.’ Looking at the first example again, we can imagine it’s 7am on the same day; you’re at home and you haven’t left for work yet. In this situation, your family can tell you: ‘Don’t forget to take your lunch to work!’

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To emphasize: the correct choice depends on where the speaker is when speaking. Consider the times the teacher has asked you questions in class, questions with endings like ‘……your pen to school to do dictations’ or ‘……your book to class with you.’ Which verb would we use in these sentences? If you said ‘bring,’ you are correct! Why? Because we’re talking about things like your pen and your book, and the moment we’re referring to is the time when you are at school.

Just like we did before, we can flip this example. Imagine the ‘pen’ and ‘book’ examples above, but now we’re sitting at home before the lesson. Do we still use ‘bring’? No! In this case, we would use ‘take,’ because you are transporting something to a different place from where you are when speaking. For example:

– (I’m at school) “I’m sorry, teacher, I can’t do the dictation because I forgot to bring a pen with me.”

– (I’m at home) “I won’t forget to take my pen to school so that I can take notes during the break.”

If you feel you’ve understood everything, test your knowledge of ‘bring’ and ‘take’ by doing the practice exercise!

 

A. Edstrom

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