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Traer Command Conjugation: Formal & Tu

Instructor: Elena Sacramento Lechado

Elena has a PhD in linguistics from University of La Laguna (Spain). Currently, she teaches Spanish as a foreign language and creates teaching resources.

Learn how to express commands and ask for favors with the verb ''traer'' (to bring) in this lesson. We'll study its command forms in both formal and informal settings through plenty of examples.

What Shall We Bring?

Imagine you are rearranging your bedroom, the kitchen or any room in the house, and you want someone to bring you something to lend you a hand. Or, you are at work and your boss asks you to bring a document. In both situations you need to know how to express commands with the verb traer (pronounced: trah-EHR), which means 'to bring' in Spanish.

In this lesson, we learn how to use traer in different situations and we study its affirmative and negative command forms.

Traer flores (To bring flowers)

Formal & Informal Situations

Before learning the conjugation of traer, it's important to explain the difference between formal and informal pronouns, because the use of one or the other depends on the relationship we have with our interlocutor.

Note: You do NOT have to say the pronoun when giving a command, but you need to know the correspondence between subject pronouns and verbs.

  • In an informal setting (like with family or friends), we'll use the form when addressing a single person, and the form vosotros/vosotras when addressing more than one person.
  • In a formal situation (like with people we don't know), we'll use the form usted when addressing a single person and ustedes when talking to a group.

Notice that in South America, speakers generally use the form ustedes in ANY situation, regardless of the level of formality.

  • It's also possible to use the form nosotros/nosotras to express commands that include yourself.

Expressing Commands with Traer

Now you're ready to learn the verbal forms. When giving an order or command in Spanish, we use a set of verbal forms for affirmative commands, and a different set for negative ones. Let's take a close look at them in separate sections.

Affirmative Commands

To express an affirmative command, such as 'Bring me the scissors', we need to use the imperative. To form the imperative of traer, we keep its stem tra- for and vosotros/as, but we need the irregular stem traig- in the rest of the cases.

VERB: traer (trah-EHR) - to bring

Positive Commands
Pronunciation Translation
trae (TRAH-eh) (you) bring
usted traiga (TRIY-hag) (you - formal) bring
traigamos (triy-GAH-mohs) (we) let's bring
traed (trah-EHD) (you all) bring
ustedes traigan (TRIY-gahn) (you all) bring

Also, we usually add a pronoun to the verb to specify to whom we want someone to bring the things. These pronouns are me/le/nos/les (me/him-her/us/them) and they must be attached to the verb. For example:

  • Tráeme (Bring me…)
  • Tráiganos (Bring us…)
  • Tráiganle (Bring him/her…)
  • Traedme (Bring me…)

Note than when attaching the pronoun, we need to add an accent (´) on the first syllable in all cases, except traed.

Affirmative Commands Examples

Daniel loves animals and the only thing he wants for Christmas is a dog! He's writing a letter to Santa to bring him one:

Translation: Dear Santa, bring us a dog, please!

In the meantime, his parents are rearranging the house. Daniel's dad tells Marta, his wife:

  • Tráeme las tijeras, por favor. (Bring me the scissors, please.)

At that moment, he receives a message from his boss:

  • Traiga el informe mañana, por favor. (Bring the report tomorrow, please.)

Christmas finally arrives and Santa has fulfilled Daniel's wishes! Daniel is absolutely delighted with his present. He plays with his dog outside:

  • ¡Trae la pelota, Toby! (Bring the ball, Toby!)

Translation: Bring the ball!

The following day, on their way back from work, Daniel's parents pass by a nice park near their house. Daniel's dad says:

  • Traigamos a Toby aquí mañana. (Let's bring Toby here tomorrow.)

Negative Commands

When the command is negative, for example ''Don't bring the book'', we use a different set of forms. This time, we'll use the stem traig- in all cases:

VERB: traer (trah-EHR) - to bring

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