These two words can be confusing--even for native speakers--who often use them incorrectly. The principle difference between "bring" and "take" is so easy, it may bring you some relief to finally know it. Read the article and take your new knowledge with you. As a bonus, check out some idiomatic ways to use "bring" and "take" below the rule.
I took some money from my wallet and paid for the wine to bring to John's party.
Bring is used when the movement is toward something.
My boss asked me to bring a sample of the product to our meeting.
Jim brought his new wife to our dinner, party so we could meet her.
Take is used when the movement is away from something.
Please take a brochure with you and give me a call when you decide.
Who took the last cookie?
Waiter: May I bring you anything else?
You: No, that was plenty. Thank you.
Waiter: Great. Are you finished with these plates?
You: Yes, please take them away.
What about idioms?
To be fluent in English, you must learn to use idioms. Here are some useful idioms incorporating "bring" and "take."
Some More Idiomatic Uses of "Bring"
Bring On (phrasal verb)
Job loss can bring on a major depression.
Job loss can cause a major depression.
Bring Around (phrasal verb)
I will try to bring her around to the idea.
I will try to convince her to accept the idea.
Bring Out (phrasal verb)
His wife brings out the best in him.
His wife encourages the best behaviors from him.
Bring Up (phrasal verb)
Please don't bring up his ex-wife at the party.
Please don't mention his ex-wife at the party.
Bring Down (phrasal verb)
I won't tell you my sad story because I don't want to bring you down.
I won't tell you my sad story because I don't want to ruin your good mood.
Bring it on (expression)
I/We bravely accept your challenge.
Some More Idiomatic Uses of "Take"
Take (additional verb)
How long did it "take" to convince them?
How much time was used to convince them?
Take (additional verb)
How did John take the news of his wife's death?
How did John respond to the news of his wife's death?
The Take Away (noun phrase)
What was your "take away" from the meeting this morning?
What was the most valuable piece of information for you from the meeting this morning?
The Take (noun)
What was your "take" on John's mood?
What was your impression of John's mood?
Take On (phrasal verb)
I don't want to "take on" more responsibilities.
I don't want to assume more responsibilities.
On The Take (prepositional phrase)
John is "on the take."
John is accepting bribes.
Take it easy (expression)
Take it easy and get well.
Relax and recuperate.
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