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I have heard the following sentence in the Narcos TV series:

Tráete el carro.

Context: A drug dealer orders her security chief to bring her a car so she can go somewhere.

Why does she say "tráete" instead of "tráeme" (dative of interest which indicates that the action benefits her) ?

  • is Tráete or Traete? (the first is tú, tráete el carro, the second vos, traete el carro) – VeAqui Jan 14 at 2:58
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Both words are imperative, an order.
Both make reference to bringing the car.
The difference is for whom is the car. "Tráeme" means that the car is for the person who is giving the order. "Tráete" does not has that meaning, the car might be for anyone.

If I receive the order "tráeme", I would bring the car and give the car keys to the drug dealer.
If I receive the order "tráete", I would bring the car and stay in the driver's seat.

  • This really hits the nail on the head. – aparente001 Jan 14 at 20:19
  • Thanks for the answer! Any difference between "trae el carro" and "tráete el carro" ? – Alan Evangelista Jan 14 at 20:33
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    @AlanEvangelista The difference between "trae" and "tráete" is the imperative of the second one. "Trae" sometimes might be a suggestion, "tráete" is closer to a command. I would never say "tráete" to my boss. – Santiago Jan 16 at 11:59
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Traerse means

to bring [something/someone] with you [or whoever], or

to bring [something/someone] along.

Collins:

(uso enfático) to bring
me he traído la cámara I’ve brought the camera ⧫ I’ve brought the camera with me
no se trajo al novio she didn’t bring her boyfriend

SpanishDict.com:

1b. to bring along
Tráete el perro cuando vamos al parque. Bring the dog along when we go to the park.
[Note: I think this would be better as "Tráete el perro cuando vayamos al parque."

So your sentence means

Bring the car with you.

or

Bring the car when you come.

  • Is "al" correct in "no se trajo al novio"? If so, what is the difference between that sentence and "no se trajo el novio" ? – Alan Evangelista Jan 14 at 16:18
  • You know, I wonder if here in this lowlife type of Mexican Spanish, they don't just mean: Bring the car around [like from the garage at a house to the front]. I don't think the Collins definition would apply here. Or: Go get the car. – Lambie Jan 14 at 18:40
  • @Lambie - maybe your idea aligns with the new answer from Santiago (which I think hits the nail on the head)? – aparente001 Jan 14 at 20:19
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    @AlanEvangelista - Okay, good, glad you're clear. What do you think, would the Q-A I linked to be a helpful canonical Q-A, in your opinion? – aparente001 Jan 14 at 20:32
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    @aparente001 Yes, I agree it'd be helpful. – Alan Evangelista Jan 14 at 20:51
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The form "tráete" is more oriented to indicate a mandate or an order, it can be heard at different times, for example:

In a moment of urgency: "Traete el teléfono" > "Bring me the phone."

That the person is angry "Traete rápido lo que olvidaste" > "Bring back quickly what you forgot."

In other cases it can also be applied between people who are close to each other -- it's an idiom in Latín América.

Whereas "tráeme" is a way that could be heard as less aggressive or imperative.

  • It works with other verbs, too: "Búscate un vaso de agua, hijito, que me muero de sed." – Conrado Jan 14 at 3:14
  • Yes, I would say: Go get the phone and Go get what you forgot. That is a colloquial match for the Spanish... – Lambie Jan 14 at 18:42
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"Tráete" could be translated as "bring with you" the car.

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