What's the Difference Between "llevar" and "traer"?


 



 

Hi, I’m Joel from worldspanishteacher.com. Today I want to talk about the words “traer” and “llevar.”

Traer means to bring and llevar means to take or to carry. Now in Spanish, you use the word “traer” when you’re talking about yourself or somebody else bringing something to your location, to the speaker’s location; and you use “llevar” when you’re talking about someone taking something to a location other than the speaker’s location.

So, I can say, “Voy a llevar unos platos a la fiesta.” – I’m going to take some plates to the party. I cannot say it the way we say it in English a lot of the time – “Voy a traer unos platos a la fiesta” – That’s wrong. It has to be, “Voy a llevar unos platos a la fiesta” because you’re taking about taking something to another location that’s not where you are.

Now, I can say, “Voy a la tienda a traer comida” – I’m gonna go to the store to bring back some food – because I’m talking about bringing something back to my location, where I’m at now.

I can call my friend on the phone and say, “Trae unos platos cuando vengas” – Bring some plates when you come – because I’m talking about him coming to my location, the speaker’s location. My friend on the phone is not going to respond and say, “Ok I’ll bring some plates.” He’s going to say, “Ok I’ll take some plates” – because he’s taking the plates to another location that’s not where he is. So he would say, “Está bien, voy a llevar unos platos”.

And it’s the same if I call my friend and ask him if he’s going to bring some plates to the party. I’m not taking about my house. I’m talking about a third location. Not my house, not his house, another place. So I can say, “Vas a llevar unos platos a la fiesta” – because he’s taking the plates to another location that’s not where he is and that’s not where I’m at; so he’s going to take them.

Ok, well I hope that this was informative for you and that you can start practicing this. It’s a little bit different than in English. You just got to get used to it.

Alright, well you can visit my website worldspanishteacher.com to see more video lessons, and I also have a great mp3 conversational course available for download. I recommend you check it out. It’ll help your Spanish listening skills and teach you a lot of useful words and idioms. Alright, thanks for watching.


 

Try out my mp3 conversational course

Start practicing your Spanish with native speakers