Take vs. Bring vs. Give vs. Put

Take as the opposite of give

Take is often used as the opposite of give. In this case, take means ‘gain possession of’, ‘receive’, ‘obtain’ or ‘remove’.

  • One must not take more than one gives.
  • She likes to give advice, but she won’t take it.
  • I’m afraid James is not in at the moment. Can I take a message?

We take something from a person.

  • I won’t take any advice from him. (NOT I won’t take any advice of him.)
  • She took the letter from the postman.

Take as the opposite of put

Take can be used as the opposite of put. In this case take is used to talk about moving things away from their places.

  • He took off his coat and put on a gown.

Note that we take something out of / from / off a place.

  • She took some books from the bag.
  • He took some coins out of his pocket.
  • Take that stupid smile off your face.

Take as the opposite of bring

Take can be the opposite of bring. In this case, it is used for movements which are not towards the speaker or hearer.

  • I don’t know what to take when I leave for France.
  • Take that paper with you when you go to school.

In this case take can be used with two objects.

  • Shall I take her a cup of tea in bed?

Common expressions with take

Take is used in a number of common expressions referring to activities.

Examples are:

Take a bath; take a break; take a wash; take a swim; take a guess; take a shower; take a walk; take a vacation; take a look; take a rest; take a deep breath

With the names of meals we use have, not take.

  • I have breakfast at 8 am. (More natural than ‘I take breakfast at 8 pm.’)
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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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