first person take vs. bring

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borganzo

Member
italia
Hey everybody

There are a lot of topics about “take and bring” but I have still a question for you because all the examples were referred to the third person and it seems to be clear to me to say:

Bring me the book.” So somebody moves towards me and gives me the book so the movement is towards the speaker’s direction. And when I say: “take the book to the teacher.” The movement here is away from the speaker towards the teacher and third person tells him or her to take it to the teacher but what do I have to say when I use the first person, for example, I´ m having a conversion with one guy in class and he says to me: “is that your book” and I answer: “no, it’s not now I have to bring or take it to the teacher.”?? So the movement is away from the speaker´s direction but the speaker is me, do you get what I mean?:)What do I have to use take or bring in this case?

Thanks a lot
 
  • born in newyork

    Senior Member
    U.S.A./English
    For what it's worth, this distinction commonly is not observed in casual speech.

    I too would probably use "take," but plenty of other people would say "bring" in this context. (And, with either word, the phrase "it back" might be thrown in as well!)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi borganzo

    "Bring" is used not only for movement in the direction of the speaker ("Bring me!") but also for movement in the direction of the person being spoken to ("I'm bringing it to you now!")

    Let's imagine John and Peter are talking by telephone.

    John: Have you still got my book?
    Peter: Yes, I'll bring it back to you tomorrow.
    Here, the movement is towards the person being spoken to.


    John: Have you still got the teacher's book?
    Peter: Yes, I'll take it back to her tomorrow.
    Here, the movement is not towards the person being spoken to, but in a different direction.
     

    born in newyork

    Senior Member
    U.S.A./English
    As usual, the British are way ahead of the Americans when it comes to matters of speech. In my experience, virtually no one in the U.S. observes the distinction in the second ("movement in another direction") example above.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    As usual, the British are way ahead of the Americans when it comes to matters of speech. In my experience, virtually no one in the U.S. observes the distinction in the second ("movement in another direction") example above.
    I disagree. I think we apply it naturally in most cases.

    In my experience, it would be very rare for someone to say, "I have this book for Linda. I know you're going to see her tomorrow. Could you bring it to her for me?" or "Could you bring it with you when you leave and give it to her when you see her?" I don't think I've ever heard anyone phrase it that way. It would automatically come out as, "Could you take it to her for me?" or "Could you take it with you when you leave and give it to her when you see her?"

    I don't think we think about why we make the choice we do, but I do think we make it all the time unconsciously. That's one of the interesting things about participating in this site. Many of the "rules" we unconsciously follow are much more clearly spelled out for English language learners.
     
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