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Llevar vs traer

14 Jul, 2017 Popular Articles
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Llevar and traer both mean "to bring" in English. They both refer to moving something from one location to another. However, they are not interchangeable.

Llevar vs traer

See the example below: 

Can you bring the cake? - Yes, I can bring it.

In English, you use the same verb "to bring" for the above situation. However, in Spanish, you will be using two different verbs. One for "to bring here" and one for "to bring over there."

Traer is used when you or someone else is bringing an object to the place where you are at the time you are speaking.

Llevar is used when you or someone else is taking an object to a place other than where you currently are.

For example:

Me va a traer el libro - He's going to bring the book to me

Tengo que llevar esos libros a la biblioteca - I have to take these books to the library

Llevar vs traer llevar vs traer

So "llevar" is away from the speaker's location while "traer" is toward the speaker's location.

You may want to see: Muy vs mucho

Below you will find llevar and traer conjugation. As traer is an irregular verb, it will come with different forms depending on gender and number of the noun they modify.

Llevar conjugation

SubjectPresent tensePreterite
Yo (I)llevolleve
Tú (You)llevasllevaste
El/ella/usted (He/She/It)llevallevo
Nosotros/nosotras (We)llevamosllevamos
Vosotros (You all)lleváisllevasteis
Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas (They)llevanllevaron

Traer conjugation

SubjectPresent tensePreterite
Yotraigotraje
Tú traestrajiste
El/ella/usted traetrajo
Nosotros/nosotras traemostrajimos
Vosotrostraéistrajisteis
Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas traentrajeron

When you order food at a fast-food restaurant, you will commonly asked: "¿Para [comer] aquí o para llevar?" which means "For here or to go?". If you want to take the food away, use "llevar". 

Check out the video below for further guide and more examples:

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