Lisa's week

lisas week teaser

Lisa's week: Quick Tip of the Week – go/come & take/bring

Every now and again, I give you a quick tip about a wrongly used word, a false friend or a typical mistake. These are the common errors I hear many times a week and which land on my mistake bingo card! This week is one of those weeks.

Go vs. come and take vs. bring… Do you know the difference between them?

When you stop and think about it, I’m sure you do. But I hear them used incorrectly often enough to think that maybe, in the middle of a sentence, the right use of each doesn’t come so easily.

These verbs all express movement meaning that they indicate direction either towards or away from the subject and therein lies the trick.

The verbs go and take express a movement away from the position that the speaker or subject is in now – or where they are imaging they are.

The verbs come and bring therefore, express a movement towards the position that the speaker or subject is in now – or where they are imagining they are.

Confused? Let’s look at some examples.


  • What time are you going home today?

(this means I’m asking about travelling from here to home – away from me)

  • Come here and look at what I’ve found on the internet!

(this means I’m asking you to move from where you are to where I am – towards me)

  • She takes her child to kindergarten every morning.

(this means she takes her child from where she is – her house - to the kindergarten – away from her)

  • You must all bring me your homework first thing in the morning.

(this means that the homework must be brought from where you will be to where I will be tomorrow – towards me)

  • We went to the shops together on Saturday and had a great day.

(this means that you went from your original place to the shops – away from home)

  • I’ve got tickets for a concert tonight. Would you like to come with me?

(this means I’m imagining being at the concert and therefore you would be moving to where I will be – towards me)

  • Oh! You took Mr Smith to the airport! I wondered where you were.

(this means you went from where you were to the airport – away from here)

  • Can I borrow that great book you were talking about? Sure! I’ll bring it with me tomorrow and give it to you then.

(this means I’m imagining travelling to the office tomorrow and carrying the book from home to here  – towards where I will be)


So, just to recap, GO and TAKE indicates a movement away from the subject while COME and BRING indicates a movement towards the subject. See? Easy! All you have to do now is practice, practice, practice.

Tell me, how’s that new year’s resolution of practicing and improving your English going? ;-)


What is Lisa's week?

"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"


Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday

Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?

Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?

Episode 4: The sound of London

Episode 5: Not just a last resort

Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise

Episode 7: Title talk

Episode 8: The Union Jack

Episode 9: Why Thursday?

Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?

Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!

Episode 13: Up in the Highlands

Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends

Episode 15: Pie in the sky 

Episode 16: Through the tunnel

Episode 17: Keep left!

Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise

Episode 19: How do you say that?

Episode 20: Back to School!

Episode 21: Sweet cravings

Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?

Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"

Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)

Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?

Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.

Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!

Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot

Episode 29: What's that badge you're wearing?

Episode 30: Bless you!

Episode 31: What are you thankful for?

Episode 32: Where's the larget Christmas Market outside Germany or Austria?

Episode 33: What's behind the door?

Episode 34: The joy of a Christmas cracker!

Episode 35: Does it all fit on the table?

Episode 36: Seeing in the New Year

Episode 37: How are your resolutions going?

Episode 38: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends - part 2

Episode 39: What will the Year of the Rooster mean for you?

Episode 40: Sweet Valentine

Episode 41: A Reminder

Episode 42: I'll have mine with sugar and lemon juice, please!

Episode 43: The joy of golden daffodils

Episode 44: To correct or not to correct, that is the question

Episode 45: The whole world's going green!

Episode 46: Idiom of the week - Raining cats and dogs

Episode 47: The joke's on you!

Episode 48: Left over from the Middle Ages!

Episode 49: More calendar food-based ponderings

Episode 50: We use German words too

Episode 51: Celebrating St George

Episode 52: The perfect start to the day

Episode 53: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 1)

Episode 54: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 2)

Episode 55: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 3)

Episode 56: Holiday season is coming!

Episode 57; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 1

Episode 58; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 2

Episode 59: Summer Solstice

Episode 60: Harry Potter turns 20

Episode 61: Quick Tip of the Week - live, life, live

Episode 62: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Episode 63:  I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Episode 64: Stick a stamp on it!

Episode 65: Idiom of the week - Water under the bridge

Episode 66: I say QWERTY, you say QWERTZ

Episode 67: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 1)

Episode 68: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 2)

Episode 69: Joking around in Scotland

Episode 70: The first day of school

Episode 71: Let's go down to the Wiesn!

Episode 72: Celebrating language

Episode 73: It's a Harry thing!

Episode 74: My favourite time of the year

Episode 75: TED-Ideas Worth Spreading

Episode 76: Grinning like a Cheshire cat

Episode 77: Enjoying the downtime

Episode 78: Talking Tenners

Episode 79: Do you need anything from the Hight Street?

Episode 80: Just another few minutes!

Episode 81: Counting the cards on my shelf.

Episode 82: What sign are you?

Episode 83: Great if you have a sweet tooth

Episode 84: It's an acquired taste!

Episode 85: New Year's Resolutions