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  5. "The food is for Saturday."

"The food is for Saturday."

Translation:La comida es para el sábado.

January 4, 2013



When does one use "para" versus "por" to express for? It seems to be used interchangeably which I am sure is not really the case.


This is not an easy question to answer. They both can mean "for" but they are usually not interchangeable.

Some uses for por:

  • Expressing movement along, through, around, by or about: Camino por las calles = I walk through the streets.

  • Denoting a time or duration when something happens. Caminamos por tres semanas = We walk for three weeks.

  • Expressing the cause (not the purpose) of an action: Me caí por la nieve = I fell down because of the snow.

  • Used in numerous expressions: Por ejemplo. For example. Por favor. Please.

Uses for para:

  • "For the purpose of" or "in order to": Para bailar la bamba, necesita una poca de gracia = In order to dance the bamba you need a little grace.

  • "For the benefit of" or "directed to": Es para usted = It's for you.

  • "To" or "in the direction of" when referring to a specific place: Voy para Europa = I'm heading to Europe.

  • "By" or "for" when referring to a specific time: Necesito el regalo para mañana = I need the gift for tomorrow.


This is great and thank you for the detail explanation. With practice and continuous learning I will get the difference.


hey check this discussion out: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1495443$comment_id=1500991 hehe... I made the discussion :) but it links to good websites.


Here para is used as it is telling" the purpose for " having the food.


Wrong. 'Para' can be used to express the purpose for something but in this case it is not expressing any purpose. How can the purpose for eating food be Saturday? Doesn't make sense, does it?

'Para' is used here because Saturday is a deadline or end. "The food is for Saturday" means the food is prepared or bought to be eaten on Saturday. It's an 'end point' 'a deadline'. It's gonna be eaten on Saturday.


Why do you not say "La comida es para sábado" to say "the food is for saturday." Isn't "la comida es para el sábado" translated the food is for the saturday?


Yes, that would be an exact transliteration. However, anytime there is a possibility that it could be one Saturday or many Saturdays you need to include a definite article. Other sentences in Spanish that do not have the possibility to be plural do not need the definite article. i.e. "hoy es sabado". There is only one "hoy" so there can only be one "sabado", therefore you do not need to include the definite article. It makes more sense when you look at other days of the week that are difficult to distinguish between singular and plural. i.e. "el martes" vs. "los martes". In English we don't need definite articles for days because they all end in "y" and we just add an "s" for plural days. Make sense?


Thanks, I found that very helpful.


No, i really don't understand how english needing an s to be plural has anything to do with the fact that spanish days of the week usually require definite articles.


It's kind of like saying "The food is for THIS Saturday." Not as in "This upcoming Saturday" but like "The food is for this particular Saturday." (Think of yourself pointing to the day on a calendar to show someone when the food was for) If the day in question was Wednesday it would read "La comida es para el miercoles" for one Wednesday or "La comida es para los miercoles" for more than one. The definite article denotes the singular or plural . I hope that helped.


It doesn't, but it has something to do with why we don't translate the definite article. Adding an "s" is how we determine plurality. Most days of the week have the same spelling whether they are singular or plural in Spanish. So the way you determine whether they are singular or plural is with the definite article. You don't need a definite article following "ser" because it's always singular. I think I was trying to be too philological and it came out all muddled and confusing. =/


It's slowly sinking in. Thank you for the explanation.


It helps me to think of it as the article being the only way to distinguish between "the food is for Saturday" and "the food is for Saturdays."


Thanks for the great explanation. It was very helpful and easy to understand


So much sense, muchas gracias!


In spanish, the days of the week usually require the definite article. I like the explanation from aboutspanish:

"Except in constructions where the day of the week follows a form of ser (a verb for "to be"), as in hoy es martes (today is Tuesday), the article is needed. Vamos a la escuela los lunes. (We go to school on Mondays.) El tren sale el miércoles. (The train leaves on Wednesday.)"



This is actually much more correct explanation then the one made by @k3nd0


what about the phrase "all these days (dates) are mondays"?


This seems incorrect. I never refer to Sabado as "El Sabado"... seems a bit "dressed up", no?


I think "para" is used to explain the purpose of the food? It's purpose is to be used on Saturday. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/porpara.htm


Wrong. Read my comment above

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