Takes time to... Tardar and Llevar

Takes time to... Tardar and Llevar

Short and sweet this post! About this confusing pair: tardar and llevar.

Both mean to "take (time)", so, what's the difference?

Well, first of all, llevar has a lot of other meanings, so check this post about meanings for llevar to see all of them.

Tardar - people

For someone to take time in doing something.

Tardar + time + en + infinitive (action)
To take + time + in + doing /to do something

Tardo mucho en limpiar la casa - I take a lot of time in cleaning the house.

Tardamos dos horas en llegar al hotel - We take two hours in arriving to the hotel.

Llevar - actions

Doing something takes time to be done.

Infinitive (action) + lleva + time
To do/doing something + it takes + time

Cocinar una paella lleva mucho tiempo - To cook a paella takes a lot of time.

Cruzar la ciudad lleva sobre media hora - To cross the city takes about half an hour.

Sometimes we make llevar pronominal, adding me,te,se,nos,os,se. Lleva stays the same, but you add the pronoun for the person.

That would be translated as It takes for someone a certain time to do something.

In this case we can say we're using it more or less like durar because we're putting the emphasis on the person rather than on the action.

Ex: Me lleva una hora arreglarme = Tardo una hora en arreglarme -

it takes an hour for me to get ready / I take an hour to get ready.


Fill in the gaps with tardar conjugated (changed according to the person), or lleva.

  1. _____ mucho tiempo en ducharte
    You take a lot of time in showering.

  2. Cuidar de un jardín _____ bastante tiempo
    Taking care of a garden takes quite a lot of time.

  3. Hacer los deberes me ______ una hora
    Doing homework takes an hour for me.

  4. ¿Cuánto ______ en hacer la cama?
    How long do you take in making the bed?

  5. Me gusta leer pero ____ mucho tiempo
    I like to read but I take a lot of time.

  6. Nos _____ una hora salir de casa con un bebé
    It takes an hour for us to leave the house with a baby.

Sol: tardas/lleva/lleva/tardas/tardo/lleva.

Hope that helped!¡Hasta pronto! :D