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To understand the meaning of the usage of bring and take: is it correct to say 'I was picked up from the hospital and was brought home.' and 'My husband picked me up from the hospital and took me home' Thank you in advance!

  • Both sound OK to me – Ayxan Haqverdili Nov 13 '18 at 12:53
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    You actually have two different things going on with those sentences at the same time. One is the difference between brought and took; the other is the difference between passive and active. – Jason Bassford Nov 13 '18 at 19:57
  • Yes I realise this now. Thank you for pointing this out! – David Nov 13 '18 at 20:00
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'I was picked up from the hospital and was brought home.'

this sentence is in the passive voice. The agent who did the picking up and bringing home is not specified. Otherwise, we would see "I" (first person subject) become "me" (first person object); "Someone picked me up and took me home."

Note also that in keeping the sentences more parallel, you could have written, "I was picked up... and was taken [took?] home."

'My husband picked me up from the hospital and took me home'

The subject clarifies here (my husband), and the first person objective, me, appears. Note that given the nature of expressions, you pretty much have to force repetition in this instance. My husband picked up and took me home from the hospital reads awkward to me.

So the difference is semantic, namely, perspective or actor. Both sentences are grammatical.

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  • Thank you so much! So it should me either 'My husband picked me up from the hospital and brought me home' or 'The taxi driver picked me up from the hospital and took me home'. – David Nov 13 '18 at 13:41
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    Assuming your husband came home with you, but the taxi driver didn't. Bring is the causative of come, and take is the causative of go; that is, bring means 'cause to come' and take means 'cause to go', so they contrast in the same ways that come and go do. This is not as simple as you may think -- see the Deixis Lectures, especially "May We Come In?" and "Coming and Going". – John Lawler Nov 13 '18 at 16:30

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