A while ago I had asked a related question about the "tener + past participle" periphrasis. While I finally have my head firmly wrapped around the concept, thanks to the answer and the volume of literature available online discussing it, I am now stuck with this new expression that looks similar but involves traer instead of tener. Is there any difference between the two? If so, what is it? Examples illustrating the differences would be great.

I found the constructs listed as synonymous at SpanishDict with the translation, to maintain a state of something. So, just to confirm, would the following two sentences be exactly synonymous?

Tengo rota una bicicleta.

Traigo rota una bicicleta.

2 Answers 2


Let's say you're taking your broken bike to the mechanic, you could use both sentences, and the meaning will be the same, but let's say you're telling about your broken bike to a friend if you say "Tengo rota una bicicleta" it will be understood that you have it somewhere and that it broke at some point in the past, but if you say "Traigo rota una bicicleta" it could imply that your bike just broke a moment ago, and that the bike is still near you.

In the end people will get the message with both sentences but when using "Traigo" the listener could infer more things.

Another interesting alternative would be replacing "una" with "la", in that case you could say that "Traigo rota la bicicleta" and "Tengo rota la bicicleta" are synonymous since they have exactly the same meaning, the definite article makes the difference because the listener has knowledge about the subject we're referring to.

I don't want to confuse you, I hope it helps.


Tengo rota una bicicleta would be the same as I have a broken bike.

On the other hand, Traigo rota una bicicleta would be the same as I bring a broken bike, at least on Spain.

  • 1
    gracias Angrod por la respuesta y bienvenido a Spanish Language. Parece que la respuesta se quedó a medias, dale a edit para dejarla niquelada :) Nótese también que una lectura a How to Answer puede darte pistas sobre cómo conseguir buenas respuestas. Por ejemplo, da ejemplos, cita referencias, etc.
    – fedorqui
    Sep 1, 2016 at 6:56
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    Buscaré referencias pero como nativo, muchas cosas las sabes, ya sea por su uso o por cosas que aprendiste pero que has olvidado sus normas, y me sería díficil tener que buscar el origen o la regla que lo verifica, pero lo intentaré, aunque en este caso, más que ayudarle con la traducción para que entienda un equivalente en su idioma no se me ocurre que más le puedo aportar...
    – Angrod
    Sep 1, 2016 at 8:36

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