I'm having a problem with a the use of Bring vs Take. I know, more or less, the difference between bring and take but in this case the "thing" that has to be moved from here to a different place is ME, so it makes me a bit confused.

We are talking about some rails (train tracks) and I'm wondering the following:

"Will they [the rails] bring me there?" (a known place)

or should I write:

"Will they take me there?"

  • Either is acceptable, but not really colloquial. Unless waxing lyrical, you'd rephrase (Does this track lead to ..., etc). – Edwin Ashworth Jul 13 '15 at 13:27
  • I forgot to mention this line is part of a lyrics (a song). – Marco Jul 13 '15 at 13:30
  • 3
    On average, you're much more likely to Bring something here, or Take something there, rather than the other way around. – FumbleFingers Jul 13 '15 at 13:36
  • ... Yes, but as nohat says in the previous thread, the emphasis can be transferred to the (future) arrival by using 'bring' in the transferred sense. Thus 'Shortly after we saw the first American land, a pilot came on board and we trust that he will bring us safely to Baltimore.' [P Thompson] – Edwin Ashworth Jul 13 '15 at 13:47
  • @ Edwin Ashworth Thanks Edwin, I've read the post you are referring to and seems that in my case Bring could be ok,,, if I understood it right. The emphasis in my case is on the "future destination place" he'll be. To make a long story short, this is the place the speaker hopes would be the right place to have a fresh new start, a new life.So it seems similar to "he will bring us safely to Baltimora". Is it right? – Marco Jul 13 '15 at 14:05

In general the distinction between "bring" and "take" is determined by the point of view of the speaker.

These rails will take me home. I would say these words at a railway station. I envisage rail tracks extending into the distance and my home is a small dot at the end of them.

These rails will bring me home. When I say these words, I am physically located at the railway station but my mental picture is of me at the end of the journey having already arrived.

  • thanks. Your option n.2 is very much what I had in my mind when I wrote that line. So "bring" seems to be acceptable... – Marco Jul 14 '15 at 6:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.