B is for Bring

Or, How A Grammar Lesson Saved Red’s Day

Red was on her way through the woods to Grandma’s house with her large picnic hamper when a handsome grey wolf stepped onto the path beside her.
“Hello,” he said pleasantly. “Bringing some goodies to Grandma?”
“Taking,” said Red.
The wolf ignored her admonition. “I know your charming Grandma,” he lied. “Perhaps I could join you and bring her some flowers.”
“Take,” sighed Red.
“Yes, well, I’ve never been clear on the usage of bring and take.”
“It’s really quite simple,” said Red. “You know, I could use a rest and a bite to eat. Come and sit with me and I’ll give you some pointers while we have a snack. Would you like some pâté?”
The wolf sat beside her and helped himself to the spread.
“Whether you use bring or take depends on your point of reference for the action,” Red said. “In order to use bring, the speaker must already be at the destination to which the person or object is being conveyed. For example, someone in the living room might say ‘Please bring me some pâté from the kitchen’.”
“Great pâté,” the wolf enthused.
“Have some more,” responded Red. “When you are viewing something from the point of departure, then you say take. For example, I will take this hamper full of chilled wine coolers to Grandma.”
“I love wine coolers,” said the wolf.
“Please help yourself,” invited Red. “So, you ask people to bring things to the place where you are, and you take things to the place you are going. From Grandma’s point of view, the bumbleberry tarts are coming to where she is, so she would say ‘Red is bringing me some tarts’. From my point of view, I’m moving the food from here to the location I’m going to – Grandma’s house – so I’m taking the tarts to Grandma.”
“There are bumbleberry tarts?” asked the Wolf.
“Have as many as you like,” encouraged Red. “Anyway, that is really all you have to remember: you bring things here and you take things there.”
“Thank you, our picnic was both delicious and informative,” said the wolf as he washed down his third tart with the remainder of his second cooler. He patted his full stomach and yawned lazily. “I did have plans for lunch,” he mused, “but, on second thought, I think I’ll just head home and have a nap instead.”
He bid farewell and disappeared into the forest, while Red continued down the path with a self-satisfied grin.

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2 Comments

Filed under Grammar by the Letter

2 responses to “B is for Bring

  1. tamarasheehan

    I… I might be in love with this post. It’s brilliant.

  2. Thank you Tamara! What a nice comment. It’s very satisfying to know that someone enjoyed a post enough to leave such positive feedback, and much appreciated.

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