Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

49 views
Author Resource Round Table > Grammar police please advise! California schools are the worst!

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 229 comments My grandchildren are being taught to say: 'Bring' instead of 'Take.'

'Bring your books to school.'
'Bring your car to the garage to be fixed.'
'Bring your phone on vacation.' etc. etc.

This drives me nuts! No wonder some authors can't write.

Am I wrong on this? The teachers say it can be either way but I think the other 49 states say: 'Take your car to be fixed.'


message 2: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I could be wrong, so right now it's just an opinion, but I would use "bring" if I'm asking you to bring something to me or to a place where I am located, and use "take" if I wanted you to take something to someone else or to a place where I am not located. I think that's the most common usage. Of course, language evolves, but I'm not sure if it has yet evolved to "bring" replacing "take" in all cases.


message 3: by D.C. (new)

D.C. | 327 comments I see either as being correct, depending on nuance.


message 4: by Reed (last edited Feb 07, 2014 12:42PM) (new)

Reed Bosgoed (ReedBosgoed) | 60 comments I always thought the usage of those words depended on where the speaker was currently situated. If the current location was the school, then use bring, but if you are sending someone to a school, then use take. You never know though, maybe the Saskatchewan education system is as bad as California's.


message 5: by Judy (new)

Judy Goodwin | 136 comments This is like "got" vs. "have" and may be used either way regionally.

I wouldn't worry about it.


message 6: by Lee (last edited Feb 07, 2014 01:55PM) (new)

Lee Cushing | 81 comments Here's how I see it.

A person can only bring something to a location if they're already there.

If they are in a different location, it has to be take.


message 7: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Horton | 248 comments Based on setting. A teacher in a classroom will say

"Bring your lunch to school"

and then.

"Take your coats home with you."


message 8: by Martyn (last edited Feb 07, 2014 02:09PM) (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Bring from somewhere else to here.
Take from here to somewhere else.

(I'm not a native speaker, but the level of education in the Netherlands is quite high.)


message 9: by Gregor (new)

Gregor Xane (gregorxane) | 274 comments Yes, I don't see them as interchangeable, and I'd say usage is based on the location of the speaker, as specified by the other posters.


message 10: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 229 comments Martyn V. wrote: "Bring from somewhere else to here.
Take from here to somewhere else.

(I'm not a native speaker, but the level of education in the Netherlands is quite high.)"


I agree it's usage is based on the location of the speaker.

My problem is that as Shaun said: the teacher tells the students: "Bring your books home." That's totally wrong to me. It should be "Take your books home."


message 11: by Mercia (new)

Mercia McMahon (merciamcmahon) Interestingly, this error occur in Colm Toibin's Testament of Mary, which was Man Booker short-listed (in fact the shortest ever book to be shortlisted) and the error was not picked up by the editors at Penguin, one of the biggest of trade publishers. Mary recalls "the vessel that took me here."


message 12: by Ed (new)

Ed Morawski | 229 comments This is widespread in California, no doubt due to the schools. I just heard a radio show where the host said:
"You should bring your computer in for repair."

I was taught it should be: "You should take your computer in for repair."


message 13: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Mercia wrote: "Mary recalls "the vessel that took me here.""

I haven't read the book in question, but if that part was written from Mary's perspective, the 'mistake' might be on purpose.

Many fiction writers use various grammatical mistakes in dialogue to distinguish between characters, mainly pointing out their lack of sophistication.


message 14: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Ed wrote: "I was taught it should be: "You should take your computer in for repair.""

If your wife tells you to take your computer to the repair shop, it's different from the computer guy telling you over the phone, "I can't solve that issue over the phone, sir. You'll have to bring it in."


message 15: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Ed wrote: "My problem is that as Shaun said: the teacher tells the students: "Bring your books home." That's totally wrong to me. It should be "Take your books home." "
Teacher: Bring your books to school. Take your books home.
Parent: Take your books to school. Bring your books home after school.


message 16: by Mercia (last edited Feb 11, 2014 12:39AM) (new)

Mercia McMahon (merciamcmahon) Martyn V. wrote: "I haven't read the book in question, but if that part was written from Mary's perspective, the 'mistake' might be on purpose."

Martyn, it is never a good idea to comment on a book that you have not read. The Testament of Mary is a 30000 word soliloquy written in precise literary English, with one grammatical error (and one typo). There is a little dialogue recalled by Mary but "took me here" occurs in the refined English of the soliloquy. Mary reflects in sub-clauses and without contracting her verbs. This is not a deliberate grammatical mistake.

For the record the typo is "warn ing" for "warning." Poor work (on the grammar front) by New York's biggest for a book they were going to submit to the Man Booker Prize. Not to mention careless proof-reading of the eBook.


message 17: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Mercia wrote: "Martyn, it is never a good idea to comment on a book that you have not read."

I made a comment not on the book, but on the issue that dialogue *might* contain grammatical errors on purpose for characterization. I'm sorry if I made you think I doubted your assessment, that was not my intent.


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Marie Gabriel (lisamariegabriel) | 207 comments I would take my car to the garage to be fixed and I would bring a bottle to a party. To be honest I worry far more about the death of the past participle. I am never entirely content when I read "it had end" instead of "it had ended" but that's just me being British.


back to top