Bring or Take?

Ship being escorted out of Hobart, Tasmania's harbour by a pilot boat

Ship being escorted out of Hobart, Tasmania’s harbour by a pilot boat

As you know I was recently in Tasmania. We  were going on an excursion and I made the comment, “I will bring my camera with me.” I was told that was the wrong word to use and the proper word was ‘take’.  I should have said, “I will take my camera with me.”  This brought on a big debate on the proper word to use. I explained it must be a cultural thing. Since I am from Canada, perhaps we are strongly influenced by the American way of saying things even though we are also a Commonwealth country like Australia. To me,  Australians seem to have kept more of their Britishness than Canadians. Their accent and the terminology they use reminds me of what I heard when I went to Britain a few years ago. So I chalked it up to those differences.

Challenged, I decided to go on a Google search for the proper way to say that simple sentence. I came upon this web site and given the title: Grammar Girl, Quick and Dirty Tricks For Better Writing, feel she may have a better handle on using the right expression.

Famous Blowhole in Tasmania

Famous Blowhole in Tasmania

She states that whether you use “bring” or “take” depends on a person’s point of reference.  Basically the proper way is to ‘bring’ something to where you are now and you ‘take’ something to a future place.

I will quote her explanation if I may as she says it so well. “You ask people to bring things to you, and you take things to other people. You ask people to bring you coffee, and you offer to take the dishes to the kitchen. You tell people to bring you good news, and you take your camera to the beach.”

I will go back to the statement that started off this debate and say it the right way according to Grammar Girl. “Will someone bring my camera to me so that I can take my camera on the excursion?” I hope that settles things and it will settle any future debates._DSC3425

What do you think? I would be interested to hear from people who are from the States, Canada, Britain, Australia or any other part of the English world. Don’t be shy leave a comment as I value all of my followers and future followers opinions.

PS Please go to Grammar Girl’s web page as she also has an Irish twist to the grammar rule especially in honor of St Patrick’s Day.

A Weeping Willow tree that is at least 200 years old at Port Arthur

A Weeping Willow tree that is at least 200 years old at Port Arthur

Kookaburra fascinated in something overhead. Such a cute fellow
Kookaburra fascinated in something overhead. Such a cute fellow

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15 thoughts on “Bring or Take?

  1. As a life-long Saskatchewanian, I’d say either of the two. “I will bring….(whatever)…with me.” “I will take….(whatever)…with me.” Perhaps it is a perspective thing in that you are thinking of the the destination being the beach and you are “bringing” the camera to it, or then again perhaps the focus is the camera itself and you are “taking” the camera. Clear like mud.

  2. I agree with Mr. Letrud. I am a life-long Wisconsinite. It is a matter of perspective. When you say “I will bring” it is almost a matter of promise that you will have your camera with you. To “take” is a matter of when you were going.

  3. I would say I will take my camera to the beach. On the other hand I know others who say I will take my camera to the beach. I love Grammar Girl’s explanation. Averil, love the pics with your blog, there are fab!!!

  4. OK, speaking about bad grammar, did not notice I said there are fab, mean to type They are fab!!

  5. I just remember my mum (From London) pulling us kids up on Bought and Brought. Mmmmm still get them wrong today and I am 50 plus.PS From Tassie also. She is alive and still says to us to use the KING’S English not Aussie Slang. I try to remind her that we are Ozzie but she wont have it. Me, I still pull my own son up for incorrect speech. I guess it dosn’t really matter as long as you know what the person is trying to say or write. Having said that he does speak well to both his peers and to Adults. He is 19 today and I am proud of him and thank my mum for pulling us all up so many years ago. Sal xxxxx

    • My grandmother was from London too and she instilled in my mother the proper English way of speaking so in turn she tried to instill in us but I am sad to say I was a hopeless case.

  6. Oh wow, Mrs. Toad would have a field day with this post, she LOVES the English language and proper use of grammar! Too bad I have little to no skills in this area, barely speaking English good enough to get the job done. Or should that have been “well enough”? See? This is why it makes my head hurt. I’m way more comfortable behind the shutter than I am behind the keyboard…

    GREAT shots here Averil, a fabulous and broad view of the wonder of Australia!

  7. I do have a pet peeve in grammar though is the double negative. “I don’t got nothing” Ugh even to type it drives me crazy. What other grammar defects drive you crazy??

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