Picture for the Spanish verbs traer and llevar - Waiter carrying drinks
Kate Townsend

In this audio lesson, we practice when to use the Spanish verbs TRAER and LLEVAR.  TRAER is used to say “to bring” and LLEVAR is used to say “to bring” or “to take.” Unlike their English counterparts, the Spanish verbs TRAER and LLEVAR imply a certain direction of movement. This can be a bit confusing for non-native Spanish speakers. Pero no pasa nada. After listening to this audio Spanish lesson packed with examples, you’ll know exactly when to use TRAER and when to use LLEVAR.

But wait! There’s more! After we pin down when to use TRAER vs LLEVAR, we’ll focus on the reflexive verb LLEVARSE and then practice conjugating the irregular verb TRAER in the present and preterite tenses.

Sample Dialogue

0:55 Skip to the Sample Dialogue

Molly (M) está en la sala de estar y Aaron (A) está en la cocina.

M: ¿Me traes una cerveza?
A: Cómo no. Te la llevo.

(Aaron va a la sala de estar y ahora está con Molly en la sala de estar.)

A: Aquí tiene. ¿Te traigo algo más?
M: Gracias mi amor. ¿Me traes un sandwich?

(Aaron regresa a la cocina.)

A: Te lo llevo enseguida.

Direction Implied with Llevar and Traer

2:27 Skip to Explanation

LLEVAR
Llevar is used when you are taking something from your current location to another location. Llevar often translates as “to take” in English.

If I’m in the cocina and my husband is in the sala de estar, how would I say, “I’ll bring it to you”?

Te lo llevo.

TRAER
Traer is used when you are bringing something to your current location. Traer usually translates as “to bring” in English.

If I’m in the living room with my husband, how would I say, “I’ll bring it to your”?

Te lo traigo.

Situation 1 – Bring Your Books to Class

3:48 Skip to Situation 1

(En clase)

Profesora: Por favor, traigan sus libros a clase mañana.

(En casa)

Estudiante: Llevo mi libro a clase hoy.

Situation 2 – I Brought the Dog to the Vet

4:28 Skip to Situation 2

A husband is talking to his wife. They are both at home.

Llevé al perro al veterinario ayer.
Y cuando llegué, vi que nuestro vecino había traído a su perro también.

Situation 3 – Bring Me the Report

5:10 Skip to Situation 3

(En la oficina) Two colleagues are at work. Colleague A goes up to the desk of colleague B and asks….

A: ¿Tienes el informe que te traje ayer?
B: No. Lo llevé a casa.
A: ¿Me lo traes mañana?

(Colega B en casa) Colleague B says to her husband…

B: Tengo que llevar este informe al trabajo mañana.

6:19 OJO: When you could use “take” instead of “bring,” use LLEVAR.

The Reflexive Verb LLEVARSE

6:40 Skip to LLEVARSE

LLEVARSE – to take away, to take with you.

When you notice your purse (cartera) is missing….

Alguien se la llevó.

More examples:

Llévate a tu hermano.

Puedes llevarte las sobras a casa.

Conjugate the Irregular Verb TRAER

8:16 Skip to conjugation of TRAER

[one-half-first]
Present
Traigo
Traes
Trae
Traemos
Traéis
Traen

[/one-half-first][one-half]
Preterite
Traje
Trajiste
Trajo
Trajimos
Trajisteis
Trajeron
[/one-half]


¡Gracias por escuchar!

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10:02 Skip to conclusion.

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If you have questions or feedback, leave a comment or send me an email at molly@docmolly.com. Gracias por escuchar y hasta la próxima!

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