PARA vs POR Everything you need to know (A2)

PARA vs POR :twisted:!¬†Probably one of the hardest things to learn for students of Spanish as a foreign language. Don’t you think?¬†This is probably because both¬†por and para,¬†can mean ¬ęfor¬Ľ in English and cause quite a bit of confusion for non-native Spanish speakers. Nevertheless, notice that these two prepositions can be translated into Spanish, not only as ¬ęfor,¬Ľ but also as¬†by, on, though, because of, in exchange for, in order to, and several other prepositions. So let’s start seeing POR vs PARA.

PARA vs POR everything you need to know

PARA vs POR, that is the dilema!

1. Basically, ¬ęPOR¬Ľ is used to express movement through time or space. This can be:

1.1 A physical transition such as traveling 

Viajé por América. (I traveled through America.)

1.2 An exchange of objects 

Pagu√© 50‚ā¨¬†por¬†este bolso.¬†(I paid 50‚ā¨¬†in exchange for¬†this handbag.)

1.3 A duration of time

Tengo que trabajar por doce horas hoy. (I need to work for twelve hours today.)

1.4 A motivation/reason for doing something

Aprend√≠ espa√Īol por mi trabajo. (I learned Spanish because of my job.)

2. And ¬ęPARA¬Ľ is generally used to convey destinations or endpoints. These can be:

2.1 Physical locations 

Salgo¬†para¬†Nueva York ma√Īana. (I leave¬†for¬†New York tomorrow.)

2.2 People (recipients) 

Este regalo es para mi novia. (This gift is for my girlfriend.)

2.3 Deadlines

El jefe necesita el informe¬†para¬†ma√Īana.¬†(The boss needs the report for tomorrow.)

2.4 Goals 

Ahorra mucho para comprar una casa. (He saves a lot in order to buy a house.)

3. There are also many expressions that are used with por and para. Some of the most common are:

 para siempreforever por ejemplofor example 
para variarjust for a change por favorplease
para queso that/in order that por cientopercent
   por supuestoof course
¬†¬†¬†¬Ņpor qu√©?why?
   por finfinally

POR y PARA practice and quizzes

Now you practice everything you have learned¬†with the quiz below.¬† Remember to contact your tutor with any questions about PARA vs POR. Don’t you have any Spanish tutor yet?

Notas del profesor

I hope that if you now have to choose between using PARA vs POR it will be easier for you to decide. In any case, you can click on the link above to access a video where you will learn more about the subject.

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