“Portare” and “prendere”: Italian grammar lesson 63

It’s easy to be confused about Italian verbs prendere and portare because they have very similar meanings and do not follow the same rules as English verbs of motion.

Let’s learn when to use them and what they mean!

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Summary

The article discusses the differences between the Italian verbs "portare" and "prendere" when used to indicate movement. While both verbs can be used to convey a sense of transporting or taking something, they have distinct meanings and usage in various contexts. The article provides examples and explanations to help learners understand how to use these verbs correctly. By mastering the differences between "portare" and "prendere," Italian language learners can improve their communication skills and fluency.

What does portare and prendere mean in Italian?

The verb portare is usually translated in English as the verb to bring, while prendere is normally translated with the verb to get.

Let’s have a look at some examples:

Mi puoi portare un libro?

Can you bring me a book?

Alessandra ha detto che porterà una bottiglia di vino.

Alessandra said she will bring a bottle of wine.

Vieni a prendere le tue cose.

Come and get your things.

Puoi prendere quella scatola?

Can you get that box?

Practice with Quizlet

Here's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.

When to use portare and prendere?

Some uses of prendere and portare are less straightforward. This happens especially when a location is specified, and someone is accompanied or driven to or from that location.

The main cause of confusion is that in English, we can use other kinds of verbs to express this type of action, such as verbs of manner of motion, like to drive or to walk.

They do not indicate any specific direction but only the way the action is carried out, such as by car or on foot.

For example, an English speaker can say I will drive you to the airport. But in Italian, we cannot use the verb guidare (to drive) to translate this sentence.

So how do we know when we should use the verb prendere and when we should use the verb portare?

Let’s find out!

  1. Portare: when the location indicates the end destination of the motion action (the place people are moving to or toward).
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In English, we can translate these sentences with the verb to take.

For example:

Domani mattina ti porto alla stazione.

I’m taking you to the station tomorrow morning.

Maria mi ha chiesto se la posso portare a scuola.

Maria asked me if I can take her to school.

Ti posso portare a casa.

I can take you home.

  1. Prendere: when the location indicates the origin of the motion action (the place people are moving from).

In English, we can translate these sentences with the verb to get.

For example:

Chi ti viene a prendere all’aeroporto?

Who is coming to get you at the airport?

A che ora devi andare a prendere tua figlia a scuola?

What time do you have to go get your daughter at school?

A che ora ti vengo a prendere a casa domani mattina?

What time should I come and get you (from your house) tomorrow?

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FAQs on “Portare” and “prendere”: Italian grammar lesson 63

What does "portare" and "prendere" mean in Italian?

The verb "portare" is translated in English as to bring. And "prendere" is translated as to get.

When to use "portare"?

When the location indicates the end destination of the motion action. In English it would be using the verb to take.

When to use "prendere"?

When the location indicates the origin of the motion action. In English it would be to get.

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