Is the usage of transfer/transport oxygen in the following sentence correct?

Exercise is good for your mind as well, since it allows your body to transfer oxygen to you brain more efficiently.

Exercise is good for your mind as well, since it allows your body to transport oxygen to you brain more efficiently.

  • Transfer: To move or carry (goods, for example) from one place to another VS Transport: To convey or cause to pass from one place, person, or thing to another. The difference is "move" and "carry (goods)" in comparison with "cause to pass", but I'll wait for answers this question is a good one from my point of view because I wanna know the difference. – user37421 Jun 8 '15 at 3:56
  • Like this question, used it regularly for Science but stupidly don't know why. – XPMai Jun 8 '15 at 12:43

Let's get more specific. What of your body does this job?

Exercise may help the blood stream, or the blood, to deliver oxygen to the brain more efficiently.

Transfer is not appropriate here. Transport is okay. Deliver is most often used.

  • Transfer could be appropriate – if the author is trying to say that exercise helps improve how oxygen is absorbed from the bloodstream by from brain. (That may not be likely, but I'm no neuroscientist. Exercise has a lot of counterintuitive benefits, including affecting brain structure). – J.R. Jun 8 '15 at 9:32
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    Can you elaborate why transfer is unappropriated grammatically/technically/specifically here? It'd be helpful. – XPMai Jun 8 '15 at 12:41

I would go with the second example, though it is hard to say technically without more medical details (possibly either could be OK).

As a language matter, I think you need to think of this in two parts.

First, transfer implies a short term/distance movement from A to B. transport indicates more time or distance is involved.

Oxygen from the lungs transfers to the red blood cells.


The flow of blood transports oxygen from the lungs to the brain.

For another example, let's say you sending freight from Seattle to San Francisco, and it changes trucks in Portland. Then you could say:

The shipment will transfer between trucks A and B in Portland.


The company C will transport the shipment from Seattle to San Francisco.

You could use this example with people, though you would probably use travel instead of transport.

We will travel from Seattle to San Francisco. We will transfer between train A and train B in Portland.

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