¿Qué tengo que llevar?

English Translation

What should I bring?

My instinct told me to use “traer”; would that be wrong? :thinking:

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It depends on your position.


  1. tr. Conducir o trasladar algo al lugar en donde se habla o de que se habla.


  1. tr. Conducir algo desde un lugar a otro alejado de aquel en que se habla o se sitúa mentalmente la persona que emplea este verbo.

“Of course I’m coming to your party. What should I bring?”: “Claro que iré a vuestra fiesta. ¿Qué tengo que llevar / traer?” [?]

“Para el pícnic, ¿qué tengo que llevar / traer?” [?]

Would the person that answers these questions use the same verb?

Sorry for the basic questions, but my colloquial Spanish is getting rusty. Having to think in English doesn’t help.

You don’t need to apologize.

It depends on the person’s location. If the party is at their house (where they are right now) they will use traer. If it’s somewhere else llevar.


I think I’ve found a page that explains it well. In particular, it shows that traer doesn’t follow the same logic as bring.

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But, how does one explain the use of traer in “En Navidad, Papá Noel trae regalos a los niños.”? Would lleva also work?

Or is this the same logic as in “Los gatos negros traen mala suerte”?

In this situation both work, but the most common is traer. Again, it depends on who’s saying it and where. If you are talking to your kid about Santa, you use traer because Santa brings presents from his place/workshop to your home. But if it were a newsreader talking about Christmas, both could work.

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I have always heard this one with dar and not traer. I’m sure you don’t use llevar maybe because it has always been said like that. I’ll think about it and try to give you a proper answer.

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