One Point Lesson # 11

 Commonly Confused Words

Bring take and fetch

As a part of our class flow, we normally spend 2-3 minutes tete-a-tete to engage the student in a light and normal conversation before proceeding to the next class. Basically, we use it a springboard to the lesson.

One of the common mistakes during the free conversation is the usage of “bring, take, and fetch“.

Let’s clear the air then;

Bring is used when you move something or someone  from where the listener is to where you are, or from where you are to the where the listener is.

Bring is an irregular verb. So please observe its past tense which is brought.

Please see the examples below, the speakers are seeing things from A’s viewpoint – things will move to the place where A is:

A is in the living room. B is in the kitchen.
A: Are you busy?
B: Not really.
A: Can you bring me my cellphone?It’s on the fridge.
B: Yeah. (B will carry the cellphone to A.)
Not: Can you take me my cellphone?
A: Are you coming to our place tonight?
B: Yes. Do you want me tobring some wine? (B will carry the wine to A’s place.)

Bring can also mean moving with something or someone from another place to the speaker’s or listener’s location:

[on the telephone]

A: Did your father bringyou anything for your birthday?
B: Yes. Hebroughtme some toys. (Father is in a different place. He moved with the toys  to B’s location.)


Take means to move with something or someone from the speaker or listener’s location to a different place:

[manager at the main office, speaking to the secretary]

You have to complete this document and then take it to the client’s office tomorrow. (the manager and the secretary are at the main office – the client’s office is a different place)

Not: … and then bring it to the English Department

A: I cantakeyou to the school tomorrow. What time’s your first class? (Neither A nor B is at the school; it is a different place.)
B: Thanks, Mom. It’s eight o’clock.

 Bring or take?

Mary visits her father every weekend and she always takes him some snacks. (seen from the viewpoint of the doer – Mary)

Mary visits her father every weekend and she always brings him some snacks. (seen from the viewpoint of the receiver – father)


Fetch means to go to another place to get something or someone and return with the thing or the person. We use it for people and things that are not here but that we need or are due to be here. We can usually use get instead of fetch:

If you’re going to the garage, can you fetch that green bag with the paintbrushes in it? Or Can you get that green bag …

Right. It’s five o’clock. I’d better go and fetch my mother from the station.