Bring vs. Take

What is the difference?

Bring and take are two commonly confused words in the English language. When do you use each one?

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

These two words have similar meanings, but they are not the same! Each has its own special use.

We'll talk about how each one is used and check out different examples so that you understand the difference.


Bring is a verb that means to carry something to or toward the speaker.

It is important to remember the direction. Bring is always used when the object is moved to where the speaker is.

For example, the boss can ask her secretary to bring all the reports to her office.

bring all the reports

Remember that bring is an irregular verb. The simple past is brought.


  • Angela brought a friend of hers to our party last weekend. He was very nice!
       - Angela's friend came to our party with her.
  • I can't leave the house because I am taking care of the kids. Can you bring some food home to cook dinner?
        - I want you to buy food and carry it here to me at the house.
  • Come over today! Bring your bathing suit, because the pool is open!
        - When you come here, carry your bathing suit with you.
  • Why on Earth did we bring the dog with us on vacation? There's no room in the car!
        - Why did we carry the dog in the car to our destination?

bring the dog


Take is a verb that means to carry something away from the speaker or the speaker's position.

Like bring, it means to carry, but the direction is now away from the speaker, or to a place where the speaker is not located.

For example, a young lady can take a picnic with her to the park.

take a picnic

Since I am not in the park, I use take. She is carrying her picnic to a place far from where I am.

Remember that take is also an irregular verb in the simple past. The past of take is took.


  • If you're going to Paris, be sure to take your camera with you! I want to see all your pictures when you come back!
        - Carry your camera with you when you go away to Paris.
  • Here, take some food with you! We'll never eat it all.
        - Please carry some food with you when you leave our house.
  • The bank robber took all the money from the bank!
        - He stole the money and carried it away from the safe in the bank.

The bank robber

More Tips

Remember that the difference between bring and take is the direction in relation to the speaker.

If you are carrying something away from the speaker, you must use take.

If you are carrying something toward the speaker, you must use bring.

And that's all there is to it! Not so hard, right? Now you've got it!

Now you've got it!

These were the differences between bring and take. Now that you understand, it's time to practice! Get our ESL Books.

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