Grammar Reference

Session 1 - Advanced Learner Mistakes: Part Two

English language learners often have difficulty distinguishing between the verbs go and come and take and bring. This is because the verbs have the same basic meaning, but they are used to represent different directions.

Come and bring

Come and bring represent movement TOWARDS the place where the speaker or listener is.

We can use come and bring to show movement towards the speaker

  • Do you want to come for dinner this evening? Bring a bottle. 

Or, movement towards the listener:

  • I'll come and pick you up tomorrow morning - do you want me to bring some food?

Go and take

Go and take represent movements AWAY from where the speaker or listener is.

  • I've got to go to the supermarket later - I'll take your letter to the post office if you want? 
  • John, can you go to the shop for me and buy some bread? Take this money to pay. 

Go, take, come and bring

These verbs can be combined:

  • I think tomorrow night I’ll go to the cinema. I’ve got to take my loyalty card for a discount. Would you like to come? You can bring a friend.