Show and Tell for Parents
Search Site: 
Parents Teachers
By Susan Darst Williams
Parental Involvement
Ages & Stages
Coaching Your Child
Discipline & Safety
Health, Nutrition & Fitness
Homework Helpers
Reading
Writing
Math
Curriculum & Instruction
Teachers & Teaching
Other School Staff
Testing
Technology
Special Learners
School Management
Finance & Taxation
Government & Politics
Preschool
Private Schools
Homeschooling
Choice & Charters
Learning on the Go
Community Involvement
Controversies
Education Heroes
Bright Ideas for Change
Site Map
Mini-Grants

Parental Involvement Lite

Parents, Kids & Books

Great Books for Kids

Character Education

Writing Tips

Inspiration

Wacky Protests

School Humor
Home | Purpose | Ask A Question | Subscribe | Forward | Bio | Contact | Print

Grammar Granny        < Previous        Next >

 

Bring Vs. Take

 

Location, location, location. That's a maxim in real estate, but also in grammar. In the tricky case of when to use "bring" and when to use "take," you have to consider the location of the speaker, and the location of the addressee.

 

Deciding which of the two terms to use hinges on the direction of the movement. To make it easier, note that both "bring" and "take" are synonyms of "bear," as in "to carry."

 

So here's the trick:

 

If you can substitute "bear to," use "take." The movement is away from you.

 

If you can substitute "bear from," use bring. The movement is back toward you.

 

"I will take my pie to the fair," you might say. You were bearing your pie to the fair, not from it. You wouldn't say, "I took my pie home." You would say, "I brought my pie home." You were bearing it from the fair, not to it.

 

Here's another way to look at it. This one depends on the location of the speaker: if you can substitute "caused it to go," use "take." Think of it in the sense of "take away." But if you could substitute "caused it to come," use bring. The sense is "bring from."

 

So you would say, "I'm going to bring a date." You are implying that you and date will change locations, from where you are now, to where you are going on the date. The emphasis is on the person. But if you were listening to a friend talk about an upcoming date, you would say, "Where are you going to take her?" The emphasis is on the location more than the person here. You wouldn't say, "Where are you going to bring her?" You'd use "take" because the final destination is the focus, and you are taking her there, not bringing her from there.

 

"Bring" and "take" are causative transitive forms of two other verbs, "come" and "go." If you can substitute "cause it to go," use "take." If you can substitute "cause it to come," use bring.

 

You can learn more about this and other grammar issues in "A Grammar Book for You and I . . . Oops, Me," on http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1892123231/grammarcom-20/104-9236382-7607109

 

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.GoBigEd.com Grammar Granny 017 2006

 

Grammar Granny        < Previous        Next >
^ return to top ^
Individuals: read and share these features freely!

Publications: please contact ShowandTellforParents.com to arrange for reprint rights to these copyrighted news stories and features.

Mini-Grants


 Links to Learn More 

 Enrichment Ideas 

 Nebraska Schooling 
DailySusan
 Humor Blog 
DailySusan
 Glimpses of God 
Copyright © 2017 ShowandTellforParents.com
Website created by Web Solutions Omaha