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Like those learning the equivalent English verbs to take and to bring, the verbs levar and trazer can sometimes be a little confusing, especially since we can translate levar as both to take and to bring in English. Here are some examples that will help you remember how to distinguish the two.
For the purposes of simplification, think of it this way:
levar = to take [a movement away from the speaker/place of origin]
Use with: lá/ali
trazer = to bring [a movement towards the speaker/place of origin]
Use with: aqui
Eu vou levar o computador lá. I’m going to take the computer there.
Ela vai trazer o celular aqui. She’s going to bring the cell phone here.
Levei o dinheiro lá para pagar a conta. I took the money there to pay the bill.
Foi ele que trouxe a roupa suja aqui. He was the one who brought the dirty clothes here.
Eu levei o bolo para a festa. I took a cake to the party.
Minha tia trouxe a feijoada para a minha festa. My aunt brought feijoada to my party.
Vou levar um presente para meu amigo no Brasil. Quando ele vier aos Estados Unidos, ele vai trazer um presente para mim. I’m going to take a present to my friend in Brazil. When he comes to the US, he’s going to bring me a present.
Can you think of any other examples?