Professional Style

Bring vs. Take

February 2012
Spot the Error

After receiving a call about a broken projector in the school auditorium, the media manager handed her assistant a spare projector and asked him to bring it to the auditorium.

I hear this a lot. Actually, I say it a lot. I’ll be coordinating an event with someone, and I’ll say, “What are you going to bring?” In my mind, I’m already at the event and people are bringing things. However, what I should say is “What are you going to take?”

It has to do with direction. If the movement is toward the speaker, then the appropriate word is bring; if it’s away from the speaker, then it’s take.

In the “projector” sentence above, the assistant is moving away from the manager, so the correct word is take.

~ Thank you, Julie G., for your topic suggestion.

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