Traer vs llevar in Spanish: difference and uses
¿Llevo una botella de vino a tu casa o traigo una botella de vino a tu casa?
All students of Spanish at some point in their lives ask themselves this question: what is the difference between llevar and traer in Spanish?
It is not easy to know when to use the verb traer or the verb llevar in Spanish, in my Spanish grammar class I explain to you the difference between the verb llevar and traer with a video.
Llevar y traer: la diferencia
The most important thing about these two verbs is the point of view of the speaker and also where he/she is at the moment he/she is speaking.
There is a simple way to differentiate the verb llevar and traer in Spanish, I always explain it to my students and it works very well in almost all cases. I am going to leave below a picture of the verb llevar and traer, so you can understand it visually.
How to use the verb llevar?
Be careful with this verb because in English it means «to carry» and it can be quite confusing. Look at the image below and you will be able to better understand the use of this verb.
Yo llevo mis cosas a la oficina. At this moment I am not in the office. I’m moving there, yes, but I’m not there yet.
Both the verb llevar and the verb traer imply movement, but in this case we have to think about the adverb «allí».
As you see in the image I go «allí» to the office.
Examples with the verb llevar
Siempre llevo una tarta al trabajo el día de mi cumpleaños.
Yo llevé una botella de vino español a la fiesta de Marta.
Voy a llevar un vestido fabuloso a la boda de mi prima.
How to use the verb traer?
In this second image you will be able to understand the meaning of the verb traer. When you use the verb traer, it means to transport something here. The key is «aquí«.
In the image where I explain how to use the verb traer, you can see that I am in the office right now and I realized that I forgot my keys at home, so “mi compañero de piso me trae las llaves a mi oficina” ( aquí).
Examples with the verb traer
Mercedes trajo a casa un perro que había encontrado por la calle.
Mi padre siempre trae muchos papeles de la oficina.
¿Me traes un vaso de agua?, me duele la espalda y no quiero moverme del sofá.
See explanation with video of the difference between traer and llevar in English
If you want to do exercises to practice the verb llevar and traer, you can subscribe to the Handyspanish Club, where you will find grammar and conversation classes.