Hast du ihn nach Hause gebracht?

English Translation

Did you take him home?

In German is there a difference between “bring” and “take”? In English the former implies the current location of the speaker is where the person/thing was “brought” while “take” implies the speaker is elsewhere. I was just wondering if this concept is the same in German or if “bringen” is used interchangeably for both of these use cases?


The english “bring” and “take” are about direction - “bring” is towards the speaker while “take” is away from the speaker.
The german “bringen” is different. I think it would help to think of “bringen” as “to escort” when it’s about people, and “to carry with you” when it’s about objects.
“bringen” can come in different separable verb varieties that are sometimes translated using “bring”, sometimes using “take”, and sometimes something else:

mitbringen - to bring (with you, e.g. to a party: “bring your own beer”)
wegbringen - to take away (to some other place. compare “wegnehmen” - take away from here/someone)
hinbringen - to take there
herbringen - to bring here

More variants of “bringen”:
umbringen - to kill
unterbringen - to accomodate/house/host
überbringen - to deliver, but also “to bring” (e.g. a message, letter, present, etc.)
anbringen - to attach/install/mount


Even more variants:

beibringen - to teach, but also to furnish
verbringen - to spent( time) but also to transport and store
abbringen - to dissuade (although “an” und “ab” are usually opposites, anbringen and abbringen are not opposites, don’t mix with abringen = to wrest from)

Ich ringe mir keine weiteren Bespiele ab, denn ich möchte niemanden davon abbringen, die deutsche Sprache zu lernen, sondern Euch lieber etwas beibringen und ich hoffe, niemand bringt mich für diesen Satz um. :grinning: