The verbs trazer and levar can be a bit confusing for learners of Brazilian Portuguese.
In this post we’ll look at how to use the verbs trazer and levar in Brazilian Portuguese and how they differ from English.
If you look up these verbs in the dictionary you will see that their definitions are:
trazer = to bring
levar = to take
Easy enough, right?
The key thing to bear in mind here is that:
to take [a movement away from the speaker/place of origin]
trazer means to bring something towards where the speaker is
and levar means to take something away from where the speaker is
Let’s see an example:
Let’s suppose you have been invited to a dinner party by a friend and you are speaking on the phone with him. He asks you if you can contribute to the dinner party by bringing something to drink:
– Você pode trazer alguma coisa pra beber? (Can you bring something to drink?)
trazer: to bring something towards the speaker. In other words, he’s saying ‘Can you bring something from where you are towards where I am?
You can then say:
– Claro. Vou levar uma garrafa de vinho. (Sure. I’ll take a bottle of wine.)
levar to take something away from the speaker.
So, I’m actually saying: Sure, I’m going to take a bottle of wine from where I am to where you are. Away from me, towards you.
The reason why this can be confusing is that in English, people will most likely say in this situation: – Sure. I’ll bring a bottle of wine.
I hope this helped clarify when to use the verbs trazer and levar. If you have any questions let me know!
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