Translation:Do you want a sponge for your kitchen?
Para: purpose - Estoy aquí para visitarte, destination - Vamos para México, deadline - Necesito escribirlo para viernes, "considering the fact that" - Es muy serio para su edad
Por: time of day - por la noche, transportation - Viajo por avion, duration of time - Leí por dos horas, in exchange for - te lo vendo por cinco dólares
Hope this helps!
Excellent rule of thumb! There are other times to use por though.
Use por when you are doing something for somebody which should be their responsibility. Maybe they don't have time (this almost fits your rule), maybe you bought something por (for) them because they couldn't afford it and they needed it.
However, if you are doing something for them “just because" or you simply want to give them a gift (for varying reasons) etc., you do it para (for) them (not because they couldn't meet their obligations, but just because you wanted to).
Here is a study tool i made for my Spanish students to help them remember how por and para are used. Por is represented by Mrs. Potts from Disney's beauty and the beast because she's a little teapot, which pours. Like por. ;) and for para, you have a pod-o'-whales. A pod of whales is a group... Not a flock of whales. Para is pronounced pod-ah.https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v=explorer=true=0B8i4_Kpg9wXDNzhlZTMxOGItODFhMy00YTE4LTk0ZGQtMGY1NTVmMDM4Y2Fk=en
Hi, swingophelia :] I will try to help, but since you got many replies already, I will focus on the question you posted on my stream:
"I'm interested to understand how "querer" compares in level of POLITENESS to "would like" in English (disregarding the differing verb tenses). "Querer" is typically translated to mean "want" and "love. This suggests to me that it may, in fact, have greater politeness than "want" does in English, which can be not a particularly polite way of expressing a preference. "Would like" is much more polite."
When it comes to asking for something in Spanish, we have these three options:
Yo quiero esto (I want this)
Yo querría/quisiera esto & Me gustaría esto (I would like this)
As "want", "querer" in the present form (yo quiero) is more direct and even if it also translates as "love", that is in the romantic way, so that meaning is not related to its politeness when demanding things. (When you say "I would love to try this dish", i.e., we would say "Me encantaría probar este plato", so we use a different verb (encantar - to love (not romantically)).
When we need to express it more politely (as you do with "I would like..."), we use either "querría/quisiera..." or "me gustaría..." :]
Hope this helped you, feel free to ask again if something did not make sense ;]
That is indeed super helpful, thank you, Babella.
I'm noticing that you mentioned the imperfect subjunctive form, quisieria. I'm yet to encounter subjunctive here, so I'm not wanting to get ahead of myself. (I did read a little bit about it before writing this now.) Nonetheless, could you offer a bit of guidance on how you would distinguish the politeness/use of me gustaría, quierría, quisiera, and why you didn't include the present subjunctive, yo quiera, in this?
As a point of reference, 123teachme.com translates these as:
quiero = I want querría = I would want quiera = I want, I am wanting quisiera = I wanted, I was wanting me gustaría = I would like
You are welcome! ^^
Since you have yet to study subjunctive, just two things:
1) Present Subjunctive does not have this function. In that same web you linked they have an explanation about it in case you want to take a look: http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/sp_el_presente_de_subjuntivo_usos_d
The simple explanation they gave us in school was that present subjunctive was meant to express a hope, not a demand. To make us understand this, they used "ojalá" (hopefully): ojalá llegue a tiempo (Hopefully I will make it in time).
2) "Yo quiero" and "me gustaría" are far more common (in Spain) than the "yo querría/quisiera" options, so you can stick with them if the other two seem complicated, no problem, many natives use only the first two ;]
About the politeness level, I have never been to any English speaking countries, but I think it works the same: I want = quiero / I would like = me gustaría (querría/quisiera are as polite as "me gustaría", just less usual and so sounding more formal). As it happens in English (I think), it depends on the situation and who are you talking to more than anything else, so you can really use "quiero" where you put "I want" and "me gustaría" when you say "I would like" (always speaking about asking for something, of course) :]
mitaine56 is right. The word "want" is in present tense. The phrase "would like" uses a modal helping verb (would) and a present tense verb (like). Maybe your translation wasn't accepted because it switched from a simple present tense verb to a main verb with a helping verb.
To find out more about modal verbs, see: http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/esl/grammar/modalverbs.html http://www.englishpage.com/modals/modalintro.html
Thanks for your reply. I certainly understand that "would like" is a different tense from present tense "want", which has an equivalent tense in Spanish. That doesn't mean that the tenses with these corresponding words necessarily have equivalent meanings, nor does it mean that a tense in English cannot just as easily correlate to a different tense in Spanish, with a particular expression. The aim, after all, is to translate the meaning, not the literal sentence.
If I say in English "I want..." there is the potential for it to be heard as demanding. In the very page that LindaHill referenced, it states "Would followed by like is a polite way of stating a preference" - in other words, a polite way of saying "want".
So, the question is: does the intent of "quieres" translate ONLY to " you want", or can it also reasonably have the meaning of "you would like" in English? Consider this also for "quiero" and "I want" versus "I would like" - since speaking in first person can heighten the demanding tone that is possible with "want". And, how does the Spanish conditional, "quisieras" fit into this in terms of the meaning of the expression?
Thanks for the dialogue!