bring over (PHRASAL VERB [TRANSITIVE]) : to take someone or something from one place to the place where someone else is, especially their home. Macmillan Dictionary

  • I’ll bring my holiday photos over when I come.

What "over" does add (as meaning) to the above sentence?

Is there any difference in meaning between the below?

  • Can Jake bring over his baseball cards?
  • Can Jake bring his baseball cards?
  • 2
    "Over" is being used here as a directional preposition meaning "to somewhere", as in I'll bring my photos over to your place. Incidentally, note that it can come between the verb and its object (Can Jake bring over his baseball cards?) or after the object (Can Jake bring his baseball cards over?). For that reason, it's usually called a "particle".
    – BillJ
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 9:13

3 Answers 3


Intuitively, I feel like the addition of "over" implies that the destination is a house. I can think of a few phrases that fit this description:

Several friends came over [to my house] for dinner.

Jake brought his baseball cards over [to his friend's house].

Sandy's friends brought sleeping bags and slept over [at Sandy's house].

I can't think of an example where you would use one of these without implying that the destination is a house. For example, you wouldn't really say "I'm at work, do you want to come over and pick me up?" Or, "I brought all my books over to school."

I know this isn't a very scientific answer and some will disagree, but as a native speaker I feel like that's the shade of meaning that "over" gives in this case.


There is no actual difference between the verb "bring" and the phrasal verb "bring over" in this case. "Bring/bring over" is the physical transfer of someone(s) or something(s) from point A to wherever the asker is, regardless of the distance. The starting point is where Jake is, and the destination is where the asker is.

"Can Jake bring the cards?" could also be written: "Can Jake bring the cards with him?" "Can Jake bring the cards over (with him)?" "Can Jake bring over the cards (when he comes)?" "Can Jake bring the cards by (when he's nearby/in the neighborhood/area)?"

If we assume that Jake has his cards at his home, that is the starting point that the cards will be taken FROM.

"Bring here" (different destination from "take there") tells us that the speaker/writer wants someone/thing to be brought to their location.

"Take there," in contrast, indicates that the person wants someone/thing to be taken to a 3rd location (i.e. the asker is in place 1, the "bringer" is in place 2, either with or separate from the objects/people), and the place that the "bringer" needs to go is place 3).

"Bring by" is not much used by Americans, but I'm fairly certain it is most often used in a "drive-by" sense. What I mean is this: "Can Jake bring the baseball cards by?" would mean that Jake is being asked to bring his cards to the asker's location, but not stay for a visit...like a delivery service.


The addition of "over" adds the information that the object is brought from a point of origin to the destination. Just writing bring does not include any information about the source/point of origin of the object. For example,

Can Jake bring over his baseball cards?

The speaker is implicitly adding the information that the object (baseball cards) is to be brought from its initial position (wherever Jake has kept them) to the destination (wherever the speaker wants Jake to get them to).

Writing the same sentence without the "over" does not add the information about the initial position/ place of origin of the object. It, however, still suggests about the destination of the object.

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