Scenario: you are sitting on a chair and using your laptop and want your little daughter to get you a/that cup/glass of something that both you can see it there on the counter.

Which one sounds better:

Grab me a/that glass/cup or Bring me a/that glass/cup? (of something e.g water)

How do you say that in everyday US English? more than way of saying so is definitely appreciated.


I like them all, and they are basically interchangeable. Everything I say in the remainder of this is subtle. "Grab me a cup" is a bit informal. "Get" is somewhere between informal and neutral, and "bring" is somewhere between neutral and formal. To my ear, "bring" sounds a little more polite than the others as well; it's definitely the one I would use with my boss or with someone I didn't know too well.

If it were someone I knew better, I think I'd use bring if I were making an imposition on the person (asking them for a genuine favor) and grab if I were implying that I was not asking for much. ("Can you please bring me a cup of tea" vs. "While you're in the kitchen, grab me a cup.")

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  • Yes, this kind of detail is what I'm looking for. I didn't mention "get" but I would like to know your opinion about it if I'm not asking much. – learner Jan 24 '14 at 13:05
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    it is more standard than "grab" but I would use it in more or less the same places I would use "grab" as described in the above answer. I personally really like "grab" but "get" is more common. – hunter Jan 24 '14 at 13:06

If it's one particular glass you can both see on the counter, use that glass.

If there are several glasses on the counter, and you don't care which one she brings you, use a glass.

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  • My first choice would be Get me that [glass,cup]. Saying Bring me that [glass,cup], sounds a little too polite for me, and it might come out as Bring me that [glass,cup], please, instead. Does that sound about right? – Damkerng T. Jan 24 '14 at 11:31
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    @J.R. I interpreted the question the same as you did at first, but I think the OP is asking about the difference between "grab" and "bring", not the difference between "a glass" and "that glass" (or even the difference between "glass" and "cup"). – starsplusplus Jan 24 '14 at 12:26
  • Sorry, it seems I have a problem explaining myself! I'll keep this in mind from now on. It's about "bring vs. grab" not about cup vs. glass as they are both the same in both sentences. I included a/that just in case they make a difference. – learner Jan 24 '14 at 13:02
  • @learner - Yes, please spend a few minutes making sure your questions are clear about the crux of the question. Comments are limited to 600 characters; questions aren't. There's no need to rush and waste people's time by having them type answers you don't need. – J.R. Jan 24 '14 at 14:17

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