>I would appreciate it if someone could explain to me the correct
>usage of bring and take.  If I'm speaking with someone, which is
>correct and why?

>	"I'm bringing the sausage to work tomorrow."
>	"I'm taking the sausage to work tomorrow."

>I tried searching for a while for a clear explanation but all I
>could come up with were references to post to this group =)  Sorry.

Well, you're asking the wrong question, so it's not surprising that you didn't find a good answer. First of all, they're both "correct". But they don't mean the same thing, exactly. So what you need to know is what they mean and how they're used, rather than a pseudo-question like "which one is correct?".

Second, bring and take are semantically derived verbs; that is, their meaning and use depends on some other verbs and their meaning and use, the way kill depends on on the meaning of die and dead, or sell depends on possess and give.

In this case, the basic verbs are come and go, respectively. That is, bring is the causative transitive form of come, and take is the causative transitive form of go. Test: find a normal use of take and substitute cause to go or some other causative phrase (e.g, make __ go) and see if it means the same thing; ditto bring and come.

   I took the garbage out.       I caused the garbage to go out.
   I brought the paper in.       I caused the paper to come in.
Naturally, there are additional features of the derived verb; that's why we use them instead of the causative phrase. Both take and bring involve some sense of physical motion, often involving personal lifting and carrying, which is after all the normal way for people to move things. (Parenthetically, move is a verb that is its own causative transitive, like open or close:
    I moved the couch.    =      I caused the couch to move.
    I opened the door.    =      I caused the door to open.
    I closed the chest.   =      I caused the chest to close.
So the real question resolves into a question about the use and meaning of come and go. This is far from a simple matter. The best single source for this is Chuck Fillmore's 1971 lecture "Coming and Going", part of the Santa Cruz Deixis Lectures, originally distributed by the Indiana University Linguistics Club, and now published by CSLI at Stanford (ISBN 1575860066). These lectures are among the most fascinating and approachable pieces of linguistics that exist in the English language, and are highly recommended.

To summarize, both come and go mean to move, but their use is determined by their deixis, i.e, the identity and location of the speaker and addressee. In some languages, e.g. Spanish, this is very simple and regular. Ir ('go') means to move away from the place the speaker is currently located, and venir ('come') means to move toward that place. Period. In English it's not so simple.

For instance, in a situation where someone has knocked on your door and you shout reassurance to them to let them know you're on your way to the door from somewhere else, what you say in Spanish is Voy ('I'm going'), because you're moving away from where you're at. In English what you say is I'm coming, because you're moving toward the place your addressee is at; in English you can take either the speaker's or the addressee's position as the terminus ad quem for come, as well as the terminus a quo for go.

It's easy to see that bring and take have these stigmata, too.

   I'll bring it right back.   (to you)
   I'll take it away.          (from you)
   Take this away.             (from me)
   Bring the car.              (to me)
With this kind of fluidity (and it's by no means all -- see Fillmore for a surfeit of surprises), there are lots of choices available for bring and take. If you are speaking to someone outside your office community, who will not be accompanying you tomorrow, you would be more likely to say I'll take the sausage to work tomorrow; but you could still say I'll bring it to work, because, after all, you'll be there, and it'll count as moving towards you, the speaker.

Contrariwise, if you are speaking, while you are at work today, to someone at work who will be present when you arrive tomorrow, you would be more likely to say I'll bring the sausage to the office tomorrow.

Officially Correct English, like the Tooth Fairy and Civic Virtue, is a product of grade school mythology and rarely leads to satisfying answers or useful decisions. The truth about language is always far more interesting -- and far more complex -- than what Miss Fidditch told you.

  - John Lawler       Linguistics Department and Residential College     University of Michigan

    "Language is the most  massive  and  inclusive  art  we know,  a           - Edward Sapir
      mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations."       Language (1921)

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