Totally Understanding The Spanish Verb ‘Llevar’

The Spanish verb llevar has many different meanings – we’ve covered the most important for you (over 30 uses!) in this special report… but don’t worry, you don’t have to learn them all at once!

Download the PDF now with this link, and add it to your special Spanish learning collection:

Totally Understanding Llevar!
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17 thoughts on “Totally Understanding The Spanish Verb ‘Llevar’

  1. Jane Martin

    I love your videos and often send my students to look at them. I am interested by your use of ‘le’ for direct object. Le llevé al aeropuerto. I teach Spanish and am constantly coming across this and yet all the books say that it should be ‘lo’. I suspect the language is changing and ‘le’ is used for people, ‘lo’ for things. What do you think? Perhaps an advanced lesson?

  2. Angela Ellis

    I am about to read the report now, but I am also very interested in the answer to Jane Martin’s question. It would be much easier to just think “le = people and lo = things,” than have to worry about whether it was a direct or indirect object! I always have trouble with these!

  3. Sonia Altekar

    Hello Ben and Marina,
    I teach Spanish and have recently started listening to your podcasts and reading your notes! I enjoy it thoroughly and look forward to your mail. The recent videos were very interesting and enjoyable. Please keep up with the good work and keep sending us new podcasts and notes..

  4. Rudy Garcia

    Awesome!!! I just want to thank you for the time you take to pass on these valuable lessons. They have helped me immensely!!! Keep them coming:)

  5. Julie

    I’d like to respond to Jane Martin’s question. My understanding is that in Spain (and perhaps some pockets of Latin America??), direct object pronouns are never used to refer to people, even when the direct object is a person. Therefore, in your example sentence, although the person being taken to the airport is the direct object, the indirect object pronoun is used to refer to him/her. In most of Latin America, however, one would use a direct object pronoun in the same sentence. I have never seen this difference in usage mentioned in a textbook either.

  6. Diane

    From my studies, I learned that in Spain they use Le as a direct object pronoun to refer to masculine person and Les for masculine people. In Lat. Am. they use lo,la,los,las only.
    ex. I know him. Le conozco.
    I know you, sir. Le conozco, señor.
    I know them. (the men) Les conozco.
    I know you, plural. (sirs) Les conozco.
    But with objects it is lo or los.
    I have it. (libro) Lo tengo.
    I bought them. (libros) Los compré.
    For feminine people or things, use La o Las.
    I have them. (flores) Las tengo.
    I know them. (chicas) Las conozco.

  7. Ben Post author

    Thanks as always everyone for taking the time to comment – Jane, as for the le lo question, I’ll get Marina to take a look and get back to you, but I think she won’t get the chance to chime in until next week – I think Julie and Diane are right though in what they’ve said already. It can be a minefield the le lo thing, that’s for sure!

  8. Ron

    The fancy linguistic term for the le/lo issue is “leísmo.” You can do a Google search or see the Wikipedia article on this if you wish, but I generally concur with Diane’s remarks. However, I live in the Southwestern USA, and started learning Latin American Spanish first. I occasionally hear leísmo usage by some Latin American speakers, and this was initially a point of confusion for me.

  9. Sarah

    I think I read that leísmo was common in Madrid but not so much in the rest of Spain. I look forward to reading Marina’s response.

  10. Betty

    I tried to get the 30 ways to use llevar ; Totally Understanding Llevar, but nothing appeared. Something is not functioning at this site.

  11. Alan

    I wanted to join in with the happy chorus in singing your praises, Ben and Marina. Your emails and videos are a source of great help and fun for those of us struggling to learn Spanish. Like Rudy, I also appreciate all the time and effort that goes into publishing these materials and the fact that you are genuinely interested in “lifting the boats” of those of us who are at sea (as in “a rising tide”). Please keep on with your wonderful efforts!!!

  12. peter sherwen

    Interesting but, Llevar and llevarse? To take someone away, against there will. which is correct?

    El mar se me llevó muy lejos de la costa.
    El mar me llevó muy lejos de la costa.

  13. Maggie

    I learned Castilian Spanish at school and was taught in accordance with the rules outlined by Diane. I’m in South America now and here they use lo for the direct object pronoun. So I think it is a regional thing. I’m sticking with Castilian Spanish – seems weird to refer to a man as lo!

  14. Anna

    I agree with Maggie. When I studied abroad in Spain and came back to my university in the US, my Spanish linguistics professor told us that the use of lo vs. le and the fact that “le” sounded correct to me (and I had examples of how it was used often!) was specific to Spain. I wish I remembered the reason and could share it, but I definitely remember having a conversation about it and being told that it was okay as long as I realized that using “le” in place of “lo” was something that was done in Spain and not really elsewhere…

  15. Ben Post author

    @Betty – it is working now!
    @Alan – Thanks for that lovely comment

    …and to everyone else as always!

  16. marina

    Hi and many thanks to everyone for your comments.

    LEÍSMO: In the Llevar pdf you can appreciate my leísmo (which is common in the central region of Spain). Funnily enough my sister has been correcting me the last two or three times we’ve been togheter and on Thursday I told her: “You have to explain me the Leísmo” but in the end we didn’t have time. So here is what I gather from the wikipedia:

    Basically the accepted form by the RAE (Real Academia de la Lengua) is if the pronoun acts as a direct object lo is required instead of le:

    -For a man-
    Lo vi este fin de semana ( a Pedro) — CORRECTO
    Le vi este fin de semana (a Pedro) — INCORRECTO

    – For a thing –
    Lo vi en la mesa (el libro) — CORRECTO
    Le vi en la mesa (el libro) — INCORRECTO

    – For a woman there is less confusion –

    La vi este fin de semana ( a Eva) — CORRECTO

    More info in: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leismo

    @Peter,

    Your second example is correct.

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