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Buck's English" The difference between 'bring' and 'take'

Gene Owens: Bring and take are opposites, but confusion can arise from matters of perspective.
BY GENE OWENS, For The Oklahoman Published: January 5, 2014

“This time of year,” said Kevin Hubble, of Oklahoma City, “there are lots of parties and gatherings where food is being served. You often hear people say, ‘I need to TAKE a pie,' and sometimes you hear them say, ‘I need to BRING a pie.'

“Don't these sound like opposites?”

“Take” and “bring” are indeed opposites, Kevin, but both refer to the moving of something from one location to another. Whether you are taking or bringing depends on your perspective.

The general rule is simple. People bring things toward you and you take things away from you. Ordinarily, the host would say “bring a dish to the party,” and the guest, speaking from home, would say “I'm taking a dish to the party.”

But suppose Uncle Hadacol says, “I'm coming over to your place to pick a mess of collards,” and Buck says, “Just stay where you are; I'll bring them to you.” It's a question of perspective. Buck sees himself as already at Uncle Hadacol's, so from that perspective, he “brings” the collards.

Suppose Kevin, Floyd and Gopher were getting ready to leave for Buck's party. Kevin might say, “meet me at Floyd's and bring your wallet. We'll each decide what we're going to take and stop by Jake's Deli to pick it up.” Both Kevin and Gopher see themselves as being at Floyd's, so Gopher “brings” his wallet to that location. Then they go to the deli and take the food from there to Buck's.

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