Llevar in Spanish: Conjugations, Meanings & Uses


In this short guide, we will cover the following topics for ‘llevar’ in Spanish:

  1. What does ‘Llevar’ mean?
  2. ‘Llevar’ Conjugations
  3. How to Use ‘Llevar’ in Spanish
  4. Expressions & Idioms with ‘Llevar’
  5. Synonyms of ‘Llevar’ in Spanish

What does ‘Llevar’ mean?

Definition – ‘Llevar’ is often translated as ‘to take’. As a result, it is used to describe that something is being taken from one place to another. Depending on the context where is being applied, ‘llevar’ can have different meanings and translations: 

  1. If talking about moving something or someone from one place to another ‘llevar’ means ‘to take’ or ‘to carry’. 
  2. When describing the effect something had on another thing, ‘llevar’ is translated as ‘to lead’ or ‘to drive’.
  3. When talking about the time that someone has been doing something, this verb is translated as  ‘to take’ or ‘to be’.
  4. If describing how good a relationship between two or more people is, ‘llevar’ means ‘to get along’.
  5. To give information about what something contains, ‘llevar’ means ‘to have’ or ‘to include’.
  6. When talking about the clothing or accessories that a person is using, ‘llevar’ is translated as ‘to wear’.

‘Llevar’ Conjugations 

In Spanish, ‘llevar’ is a regular verb. As a result, every conjugation, with the exception of the future and conditional tenses, will use the stem llev’.

Indicative

Present tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoLlevoI take
LlevasYou take
Él / Ella / UstedLlevaHe/She takes
NosotrosLlevamosWe take
VosotrosLleváisYou take
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasLlevanThey/You take

Preterite tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoLlevéI took
LlevasteYou took
Él / Ella / UstedLlevóHe/She took
NosotrosLlevamosWe took
VosotrosLlevaisteisYou took
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasLlevaronThey/You took

Imperfect tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoLlevabaI took
LlevabasYou took
Él / Ella / UstedLlevabaHe/She took
NosotrosLlevábamosWe took
VosotrosLlevabaisYou took
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasLlevabanThey/You took

Future tense conjugation

To conjugate to the future and conditional tenses, you’ll add the proper endings to the verb in its infinitive form. 

Person ConjugationTranslation
YoLlevaréI will take
LlevarásYou will take
Él / Ella / UstedLlevaráHe/She will take
NosotrosLlevaremosWe will take
VosotrosLlevaréisYou will take
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasLlevaránThey/You will take

Conditional tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoLlevaríaI would take
LlevaríasYou would take
Él / Ella / UstedLlevaríaHe/She would take
NosotrosLlevaríamosWe would take
VosotrosLlevaríaisYou would take
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasLlevaríanThey/You would take

Progressive Tenses

graphic showing how to conjugate llevar to spanish present progressive tenses

Estoy llevando mis cosas al nuevo departamento.
I’m taking my stuff to the new apartment.

Esta semana mi esposa estuvo llevando a los niños a la escuela.
This week my wife has been taking the kids to school.

Perfect Tenses

graphic showing how to conjugate llevar to indicative perfect tenses in spanish

No has llevado tus documentos a la oficina.
You haven’t taken your documents to the office.

Pensé que te habías llevado mi celular por error.
I thought you took my cell phone by mistake.

Llevar Subjunctive Conjugations

Present subjunctive conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoLleveTo take
LlevesTo take
Él / Ella / UstedLleveTo take
NosotrosLlevemosTo take
VosotrosLlevéisTo take
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasLlevenTo take

Imperfect subjunctive conjugations

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoLlevara / LlevaseI took
Llevaras / LlevasesYou took
Él / Ella / UstedLlevara / LlevaseHe/She took
NosotrosLleváramos / LlevásemosWe took
VosotrosLlevarais / LlevaseisYou took
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasLlevaran / LlevasenThey/You took

Perfect subjunctive

graphic showing how to conjugate llevar to subjunctive perfect tenses in spanish

Espero que mi hermano haya llevado a mi mamá a su cita.
I hope my brother took my mom to her appointment.

Si Jossie y Leo se hubieran llevado bien, la fiesta hubiera estado mejor. 
If Jossie and Leo had gotten along well, the party would have been better. 

Imperative

Imperative conjugation

To conjugate to the affirmative imperative form, you’ll use the stem llevand add the corresponding endings for each subject. However, to conjugate ‘llevar’ to its negative imperative form, you’ll follow the present subjunctive conjugation.

PersonConjugationTranslation
LlevaTake
NosotrosLlevemosLet’s take
VosotrosLlevadTake
UstedesLlevenTake

[‘Llevar’ imperative] + [complement]

Lleva estos platos a la cocina.
Take these dishes to the kitchen.

Por favor, lleven a su hermana a la tienda. 
Please, take your sister to the store. 

No + [‘llevar’ in present subjunctive] + [noun]

No lleves tanto dinero.
Don’t carry so much money.

Niños, no se lleven mi teléfono.
Kids, don’t take my phone

How to Use ‘Llevar’ in Spanish with Examples

Since it has multiple meanings, ‘llevar’ is used in different situations. In the sections below, you’ll learn in which contexts you can use this verb and how to build sentences for each one of these meanings.

  1. To say ‘to take’
  2. To talk about consequences
  3. Expressing how long someone has done something
  4. Describing a relationship
  5. To give information about something’s contents
  6. To talk about clothing

To say ‘to take’

When expressing that a person is taking something or someone else to a different place, ‘llevar’ means ‘to take’ or ‘to carry’. In this context, it can be used as a pronominal verb.

[Reflexive pronoun] + [‘llevar’ conjugated] + [complement]

¿Te llevaste las llaves?
Did you take the keys?

¿Quién se llevó el dinero que dejé en la mesa?
Who took the money I left on the table?

If you want to mention the specific place where someone or something is being taken, you’ll need to add the preposition ‘a’ after ‘llevar’.

(Object pronoun) + [‘llevar’ conjugated] + a + [complement]

¿Quieres que te lleve a tu casa?
Do you want me to take you home?

Lleva estas cajas al segundo piso.
Take these boxes to the second floor.

Recuerda que tienes que llevar al niño a la escuela.
Remember that you have to take the kid to school.

To talk about consequences

‘Llevar’ can also be used to describe how a situation or an action has affected someone. In this case, it can be translated as ‘to lead’ or ‘to drive’. With this meaning, you’ll need to use direct pronouns and the preposition ‘a’ to indicate what the consequence was.

[Direct pronoun] + [‘llevar’ conjugated] + a + [complement]

Sus vicios lo llevarán a la ruina.
His vices will drive him to ruin.

Su talento la llevó al éxito.
Her talent led her to success.

Nuestro amor por los animales nos llevó a construir un refugio.
Our love for animals led us to build a shelter.

Expressing how long someone has done something

In other contexts, ‘llevar’ is used to measure and express the amount of time that a person needed to perform an action. So, in this situation, ‘llevar’ means ‘to take’ and ‘to be’.

[‘Llevar’ conjugated] + [complement]

Mi primo lleva un año deprimido.
My cousin has been depressed for a year.

El bebé lleva dos horas llorando.
The baby has been crying for two hours.

Llevas media hora en el baño, ¿estás bien?
You’ve been in the bathroom for half an hour, are you okay?

To emphasize how much time a specific task takes to be completed, you’ll need to use indirect pronouns.

[Indirect pronoun] + [‘llevar’ conjugated] + [complement]

Me llevó dos horas corregir este ensayo.
It took me two hours to correct this essay.

Componer su último álbum le llevó un año.
Composing his last album took him a year.

Escribir tu tesis te llevará al menos seis meses.
Writing your thesis will take you at least six months.

You can also use gerunds to talk about actions that you’re still performing. In this case, ‘llevar’ allows you to express for how long you’ve been doing something :

[‘Llevar’ conjugated] + [verb in gerund] + [complement]

¿Cuánto tiempo llevas leyendo?
How long have you been reading?

Apenas llevo dos meses trabajando aquí. 
I have only been working here for two months. 

Carolina y David llevan dos años estudiando español. 
Carolina and David have been studying Spanish for two years. 

Describing a relationship

In more casual situations, ‘llevar’ is also used to describe how good or bad a relationship between two or more people is. So, with this meaning, ‘llevar’ can be translated as ‘to get along’

[Reflexive pronoun] + [‘llevar’ conjugated] + (adv) + (adjective)

Mi mamá y yo nos llevamos muy bien.
My mom and I get along very well.

¿Cómo te llevas con tus primos?
How do you get along with your cousins?

La verdad no me llevo muy bien con mi hermana.
To be honest, I don’t get along very well with my sister.

To give information about something’s contents

Another common use of ‘llevar’ is to ask or explain the ingredients or parts that something contains. As you may imagine, this is especially useful when talking about food. In this situation, ‘llevar’ means ‘to contain’, ‘to have’ or ‘to include’

[‘Llevar’ conjugated] + (definite article) + [noun]

¿Qué tipo de queso lleva la pasta?
What kind of cheese is in the pasta?

¿La comida lleva ensalada?
Does the meal include a salad?

Señorita, ¿las enchiladas llevan queso?
Miss, do the enchiladas contain cheese?

Nuestros platillos no llevan ingredientes de origen animal.
Our dishes don’t contain any animal products.

Related Resource: How to Order Food in Spanish

To talk about clothing

In Spanish, ‘llevar’ can also be used to describe the clothing or accessories that a person is wearing at the moment of speaking. Here are some examples of how you can use ‘llevar’ in this context.   

[‘Llevar’ conjugated] + [complement]

Andrea lleva el mismo vestido que tú.
Andrea is wearing the same dress as you.

¿Qué zapatos llevarás a la graduación?
What shoes are you going to wear to prom?

Los niños llevan los conjuntos que les regalaste.
The kids are wearing the outfits that you gave them.

Creo que Mary llevaba los aretes que le regalaste. 
I think Mary was wearing the earrings that you gave her. 

Take Note: ‘Usar’ also means ‘to wear’. However, this verb allows us to talk about the things that people wear on a regular basis, while ‘llevar’ focuses on the things that people were wearing at the moment of speaking. 

Yo no uso vestidos. 
I don’t wear dresses. 

Patty no llevaba un vestido, era una falda. 
Patty wasn’t wearing a dress, it was a skirt. 

Llevar Expressions & Idioms

Here are some common expressions with ‘llevar’ that you can use to improve your conversational skills. 

Dejarse llevar means ‘to get carried away’

Llevar la contraria describes a person that is taking the opposite stance on some subject. It means ‘to be contrary’ or ‘to contradict’.

Llevar a cabo is frequently used in Spanish to describe that a task is being performed. It can be translated as ‘to carry out’ or ‘to carry through’. 

Synonyms of ‘Llevar’ in Spanish

Conducir means ‘to drive’ or ‘to lead’. This is used in more formal or literary contexts to express the consequences of a certain action. 

Incluir is the translation of ‘to include’. As a result, this verb can be used to list or explain the ingredients or elements that form something.

Usar is the direct translation of ‘to use’. However, when used as a synonym of ‘llevar’, it means ‘to wear’.

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

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