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Llevar vs. tomar?

Both llevar and tomar can have the meaning of "to take," but I'm confused as to which verb to use in which context. In a skill in my Spanish tree I'm working on right now, one sentence used "llevar" for physically taking someone somewhere and another sentence used "tomar" for physically taking something. Is that the main difference, or is there another explanation? Thanks for any and all useful replies!

May 12, 2018



Tomar is "take", llevar is "carry away", the opposite to "bring", it implies motion. "Toma esto y llévatelo" = Take this and carry it away.


Thanks, but I'm still confused. One sentence used llevar for taking people to a park. Could tomar have been used in that same context?


Here is an interesting example from wordreference. Toma este libro y llévaselo a tu madre. = Take this book and carry it to your mother.


In English, we'd probably often say, "Take this book to your mother," or even "Take this book and bring it to your mother." However, I don't think that works in Spanish. If you are carrying something somewhere whether it be an object or people, I think you have to use llevar. For example, if you get food to go, it's "para llevar" in Spanish.




No, "take to a site" is always "llevar". In Spanish there is a pair of verbs with opposite meaning: traer (bring) and llevar (take away). "Toma, lleva este dinero y tráeme comida" (Take! Carry this money with you and bring me food). "Llevar" implies motion towards another site, away from the speaker or the point of reference: In "En la mitología griega, Caronte llevaba a los muertos al Hades" (In Greek mythology, Charon carried the dead to Hades).

However, "llevar" or "traer" can be also "wear" and they are almost synonyms with that meaning, with some regional variation perhaps.


Ah I see now, thank you!


It is like two versions of the English verb "to take".

Me gusta tomar vino rojo = I like to have (take, drink) red wine.

Yo llevo el vino rojo = I carry (take, bring) the red wine.

Don't you like how precise Spanish is? I don't mean that English is not, both are beautiful languages; but common Spanish seems richer.


"Tomar vino" is "to drink wine". It is another sense of tomar, derived from "take" but it means "drink" now.


Yes, I have read before that tomar can also mean to drink instead of beber.


In English too you can take a sip (or a swig) of a drink or take a shot. It's a bit more limited in English, but the sense is sometimes there.

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