What’s the difference between Take and Bring?



Let’s demystify the two following words, take and bring. The two commonly confused words in English language, both with similar meanings, but they are not the same. Enjoy :)



Hola amigos you are listening to English Made Simple, episode 50, numero cincuenta.

Hey guys welcome to another show of English Made Simple, can you believe it? We are now at episode 50 of EMS, and there is going to be more awesome content coming your way, more valuable stuff for you to absorb and more ridiculously stupid jokes to come in the future. It’s all part of learning English and having fun at the same time. Is this really possible?

Hmm, we shall see!

Well, hello, again, my name is Milena from englishmadesimple.net.

Can you believe it, it’s end of October? You know, my friends keep telling me that the Halloween Day is at the end of October, that it’s on the last day of October, but I keep telling them, they are wrong, they are all wrong, the Halloween is on the 8th November! Haha or was it the US election on the 8th November, Halloween or the US election, same thing, different day. That’s an English saying by the way (Same shit different day.) la misma basura en diferente envoltorio! Hehe

Who  knows? Let’s wait and see!

In this episode I want to continue with our love saga of irregular verbs, because we looooove them so much. I want to tell you about the following 2 irregular verbs: to bring and to take. The two commonly confused words, these two words, bring and take, have similar meanings, but they are not the same. So in this episode we will learn about how each word is used along with some examples.

And before we do that, let me send a special greeting to a couple of awesome raving fans, a couple of enthusiasts of English Made Simple. We have Vaew (Vau) from Thailand, hopefully I pronounced that correctly! Yes, Vaew (Vau) is from Thailand, the land of delicious cuisine and the famous martial arts movie called Ong Bak. And that’s about all Thai I know!

And another listener from Italy, Andrea, ciao, Andrea come stai? I started learning Italian at the age of 15, all thanks to Eros Ramazzotti and one of his songs Se bastase una bella canzone. Well, that’s what made me want to learn Italian. My friends think, you are crazy Milena, they don’t know why I like Eros Ramazzotti!

Anyway, right! Thank you guys for your nice comments, glad you are enjoying the show and learning English! Awesome!

Alrighty. Let’s dive into it. Let’s start off with the basics, let’s keep it simple.

Firstly, let’s talk about the verb bring, meaning traer in Spanish, it means to carry something towards the speaker. To carry is llevar. To carry means, to move or transport something from one place to another.

So bring is an irregular verb, past tense brought, and participle brought as well.

I’ll give you a simple example with a scenario:

Let’s say Arturo is organising a party and inviting his friends to the party, he is inviting Julio to the party – Julio, please come to my party you are also welcome to bring a friend to the party as well. Bring a friend. That’s cool, that’s nice of Arturo to extend his invite. So Julio, brought his girlfriend Alicia to the party. So he brought his girlfriend to the party.

Let’s imagine Arturo is writing an email invitation to his friends: hey guys, you are all invited to my party, blah blah, it will be awesome, Justin Bieber will be playing, wow amazing! blah blah at the end he writes an acronym BYO at the end of the letter.

BYO is an acronym and it means: Bring Your Own. It implies that you should either bring your own beer, bring your own drinks, or bring your own food. This is also known as bring a plate, if you bring your own food. It just means Arturo will not be providing everything at the party.

And this is very common in Australia and New Zealand.  I used to think hmm, it’s a bit weird, why would they ask us to bring our own food to the party? I always thought the host should provide the food and the drinks. However, when you live in this part of the world, then you realise how expensive it is to drink. We pay really high taxes in Australia for alcohol. One of the highest in the world, so understandably Arturo can’t afford to buy drinks for everyone. That’s why they put this BYO at the end of the invitation.

But anyway, I am getting distracted. Do I make sense so far? Easy peasy lemon squeezy. You guys know what this means, easy peasy lemon squeezy I keep saying it in almost every episode, it’s just means, something is easy to do, easy to learn, it’s just some saying, it rhymes and it’s supposed to sound funny. You are welcome to use it anytime with your friends. Easy peasy.

So, to conclude, to bring means to carry something towards the speaker, Arturo was the speaker in this case, in this scenario and he asked his friends to bring something to the party.

Another example, my favourite one haha, yes I have a favourite example, whatever.

Here’s my example:

Mi amor, can you please take that bottle of wine and bring it to me please? Thank you, rápido… do as I say.

So mi amor, brought me the bottle of wine.


Now let’s do the second word, to take. Tomar in Spanish. Again let’s keep it simple.

If the word bring means to carry something towards the speaker, then the word TAKE is quite the opposite. To Take is to carry something away from the speaker. Take is also irregular, past is Took, and Particple is Taken. Like the movie Taken with Liam Neeson, the actor. It’s a great movie! Anyway, let me give you some examples of the word TAKE.

Again one of my personal examples:
Mi amor, here is the empty bottle of wine, because I drank all of it, and please take this back to the kitchen and put it in the rubbish. Take it back to the kitchen and bring me another bottle. Haha not that’s not true. It’s just a hypothetical example, it’s not true.

So take it to the kitchen and bring me another bottle.

Let me give you another example, if you are travelling to Chile, be sure to take your camera with you! I want to see photos of the Andes Mountains.

Take your camera with you when you are travelling.

Now, let me ask you this, when you go camping, I assume you like camping, what do you normally take with you? Do you take your compass (kampas), take your phone, food and so on? Because I am not going camping with you, I am using the word Take. What else do you take with you when you go camping?

Hopefully that made sense just a little bit.

And now, here is something to help you remember, when to use the word Take:

Let’s say you feel lazy to cook after work, so you order Take Away food. I have a local Thai place where buy some thai food, green curry for example, Pad Thai for example. Thai food is the food from Thailand. And my local place offers take away food, para llevar. Take it away and eat it at home.

There is also a lot of pizza places around and I also buy a take away pizza and I eat it at home.

So to sum up, remember that there is a difference between bring and take is to do with the direction of where the speaker is located.

If you are carrying something away from the speaker, you should use take.
If you are carrying something towards the speaker, you should use bring.

In simple terms, just imagine, you ask people to bring things to you, and you take things to other people.

And now amigos we are approaching the end of the show, next week I will cover some phrasal verbs using these irregular verbs we learnt in the previous few episodes, verbs like come, go, get, take, bring and carry. With an exception of the word Carry it’s a regular verb! The past tense is Carried. These are the most common verbs you should know and you should be aware of. Using these common verbs will help you structure or structure some common phrasal verbs. For now, this is all you have to know to sound more fluent.

Thank you for joining me and thank you sticking around for 50 episodes, whoa, amazing.

And remember, there is more to come!

Don’t forget all transcriptions are available on my website, www.englishmadesimple.net
It’s been a pleasure yet again. See you on the flipside amigos! Hasta la proxima! Should I say, ciao, arrivederci!

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