Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bring or take, what's the difference?

My sister and her husband recently bought a fish farm at Lim Chu Kang.
Already it has generated so much excitement from friends all asking to bring them there for a visit.
Bring them there?

Take me there! I wanna go!  (pic stolen off my niece laura-lynn)

This piqued me to start writing this piece about the wrong use of words again.
Many are confused over the difference between BRING and TAKE.
More so in our multi-cultural environment as bring and take can be used interchangeably in Chinese or Malay, from which many of us adapt its grammer resulting in Singlish!

When to use bring or take should be seen from the speaker's perspective.
Bring usually involves another person and an object to be moved TOWARDS you (the speaker).
Take involves an object moving AWAY from you.

Here are some simple examples.
Please bring me the file. (movement towards you)
Please take this file to the manager. (movement away from you)

Will you take the children to their tuition classes? 
Will you bring the children to their tuition classes? is wrong. Here you don't say bring as the movement is away from you. This is usually where most people get it wrong.

As I said, bring or take depends on the speaker's point of view.
The same scenario can be either bring or take depending on who says it.

You say, Please bring me the accounts records.
She replies, Ok, I take it to you in a while.
(note she doesn't say bring it to you because she's speaking from her perspective).

Use this simple rule of thumb and you usually won't go wrong.
Just remember when you order MacDonald's, it's take-away not bring away,
though it's the same in Chinese!

But...there are exceptions!
That's just to add to your confusion, however,  that's another story. 

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