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Published on: Grammar Bites

Expressions with the Spanish verb ‘llevar’

The Spanish verb ‘llevar’ is very versatile and it has a wide-range of meanings including “to take” or “to carry”. It is also used in several idiomatic phrases or popular expressions; let’s take a look!

  • Comida para llevar = take out food
  • Dejarse llevar por algo/alguien = to get carried away by something/someone
  • Llevar a alguien frito = to annoy someone constantly, to wear someone out
  • Llevar a caballito = to give a piggyback ride / to carry someone on your shoulders
  • Llevar a cabo = to carry out something
  • Llevar a cuestas = to carry the weight/load, to bear responsability
  • Llevar a error = to mislead or confuse someone
  • Llevar a juicio / a los tribunales = to take someone to court
  • Llevar a la gran pantalla = to turn a story/book/song/play into a movie
  • Llevar a la ruina = to lead someone to ruin
  • Llevar a mal = to be offended by someone
  • Llevar a término = to carry out, to carry to term
  • Llevar al matadero = (metaphorical) to lead to the slaughter, to put someone in danger
  • Llevar al éxito = to lead to success, victory
  • Llevar al límite = to take / push to the edge, to the limit
  • Llevar algo en la sangre / las venas = (metaphorical) to have something in your blood/veins
  • Llevar bien los años = to look younger than your age
  • Llevar cuenta = to keep track of something
  • Llevar el demonio / diablo = (metaphorical) to be foaming at the mouth
  • Llevar en brazos = to carry someone/something in your arms
  • Llevar en el corazón = have a soft spot for someone/something, to have fond memories
  • Llevar la batuta = to take the lead, to call the shots
  • Llevar la corriente a alguien = to humor someone
  • Llevar la delantera = to take the lead, to be ahead of something
  • Llevar la voz cantante = to take the lead, to have the final say
  • Llevar las de perder = to stand to lose, to be in a precarious position
  • Llevar las riendas = to take the lead, to call the shots
  • Llevar los pantalones = (metaphorical) to call the shots, to have the final say
  • Llevar por mal camino = to lead someone down the wrong path, to lead astray
  • Llevar prisa = to be in a hurry, in a rush
  • Llevar tiempo = to take time
  • Llevar ventaja = to have a head start on something, to have an advantage
  • No llevar a ninguna parte = to lead nowhere, to be a dead end
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