"My mother cooks for my father."
Translation:Mi madre cocina para mi padre.
Someone recently commented that generally if the action is coming toward the subject it is 'por' (by, near, around, for--like for dinner) but if the action is going away from the subject, it is 'para' (as in a gift). I also found a site http://masterofmemory.com/spanish which approaches language learning in a really cool way and may be helpful. I use both duo lingo and this site.
"Mi mamá cocina para mi papá" means the recipient of my mothers cooking is my father, but I think "Mi mamá cocina por mi papá" should also be accepted because it means my mother cooks in place of or on behalf of my father. Both of those meanings are included in the semantic range of "My mother cooks for my father" in English.
"General understanding" is the realm of cultural convention, not of grammar. Do you mean to say that since women generally cook for men in the culture, this should be the only acceptable answer? Both answers should be accepted because context not culture determines the meaning of "for" and we are not given the context to fix the meaning on our own. If we knew that the father was a cook who broke his hand and therefore his wife cooked for him, then we could fix the meaning of for as "por". If we knew the father was a deadbeat who couldn't cook for himself, then we could fix the meaning as "para". We don't know the context, therefore both meanings must be accepted.
This is not like a test in school where we are trying to get an extra point for an incorrect answer. The point is to learn Spanish and the correct usage of por and para. I think the intent of the sentence is that my mother is in the kitchen cooking. Unless of course you used "por" intentionally to mean my mother cooks in place of my father.
Campellomerrily, I live and work in Nicaragua. My experiences of Machista culture and my conversations (in Spanish) with others about their experiences have made me sensitive to this. And all that aside, discussing grammar is fun. Being picky is how some people learn. When I'm in conversations in Spanish with people on a daily basis, I don't want to interrupt them to ask them about grammar. It's a wonderful gift that we can have discussions about grammar here with other people who are knowledgeable and care about the subject. GregAngeli, I don't care about points, I just want people to recognize that through duolingo we don't know the intention or context of the sentence unless we're willing to accept sexism that assumes male and female roles as the context. None of us know how "for" is intentionally being used. I do agree that the more common usage would probably be para, but it don't think it costs duolingo anything to make the change to be more grammatically inclusive. There are better ways to teach the distinction between por and para, ways that can't even be misconstrued as sexism.
Sounds like we agree on the use por and para then. I wasn't trying to argue for one or the other. I was trying to argue that depending on context either can be correct (and conversely, either can be incorrect given a different context). Not having that context, I think its an error to say that either is incorrect. This question was presented to me as multiple choice with both por and para as options and I selected them both as correct. I didn't have it as a sentence to translate where I'd have to pick only one of the two.
My point is that if you are arguing for por meaning "in place of" then that should have been your intent from the beginning and you were right. If you thought you were using por thinking that dad was the recipient then you were wrong.
Absolutely agree GregAngeli So much time seems to be spent dissecting grammar here that the most important lesson is forgotten, and that is that learning another language should be about being able to communicate with other people. I regularly watch TV programmes in which Spanish people are speaking English, and they happily speak it warts (often many warts), and all, whilst English speakers learning Spanish seem to prefer arguing the nitty gritty with each other, and I wonder do they ever actually get into conversations with native Spanish speakers at all.