How to use POR and PARA
The words por and para are frequently confused when learning Portuguese. Both can often mean for in English, but they have different uses.
Here are some common uses for por:
|price||Comprei esta bolsa por $10.||I bought this handbag for $10.|
|common cause||Um por todos e todos por um.||One for all and all for one.|
|duration||Eles saíram de férias por uma semana.||They went on holiday for a week.|
|means||Conversamos ontem por telefone.||We spoke yesterday on the phone.|
|on behalf of||Você entrega o presente por mim?||Will you deliver the present for me?|
|passive voice||Ele foi assaltado por bandidos.||He was robbed by thieves.|
|in exchange for||Meu pai me paga por lavar o carro dele.||My dad pays me for washing his car.|
|reason||Fui castigado por chegar atrasado.||I was punished for arriving late.|
|frequency||Nos reunimos uma vez por mês.||We meet once a month.|
|distribution||Um Lingot por usuário.||One Lingot per user.|
Here are some common uses for para:
|deadline||Esta tarefa é para segunda-feira.||This assignment is due Monday.|
|designation||Este presente é para você.||This present is for you.|
|purpose||Comprei bolo para sobremesa.||I bought cake for dessert.|
|opinion||Para mim, este é o poema mais lindo.||For me, this is the most beautiful poem.|
|employment||Ela trabalha para o governo||She works for the government.|
|future point in time||Vamos deixar para semana que vem.||Let's leave it for next week.|
|direction / destination||Vou para o cinema. Quer vir?||I'm going to the movies. Want to come?|
|concession||Ele é muito maduro para sua idade.||His is very mature for his age.|
Practice your Portuguese!
Fill in the blanks with por and para and share your answers in the comments section.
1) Nós viajamos duas vezes _ mês. (We travel twice a month.)
2) Elas vão _ a praia todo fim de semana. (They go to the beach every weekend.)
3) _ que serve isto? (What’s this for?)
4) É _ isso que ela está triste. (That’s why she’s sad.)
5) Ela foi elogiada _ todos. (She was praised by everyone.)
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This helps clear up several things. Thank you.
It has helped me previously to remember that para is a forward idea.
Question though: technically, should #2 not be "à" (a + a = to the) unless it is a more permanent going? Same with going to the movies I presume.
Oh, and just to confuse things, para is also the 3rd Person Singular conjugation of parar for stop. =] Which is confused on this Duolingo dictionary page:
I also do not understand the "Spanish" with flag for the Portuguese dictionary... (Ooooops!):
Thank you for useful resources like this. However, kindly think of accessibility issues and consider using high-contrast text. What use is a good resource if it cannot be read? It might as well be invisible.
And I was so looking forward to learning from reading this.
Edited to add: This reminds me of a time in my career when I was making a lot of PowerPoint presentations. Sometimes I would cover part of a slide and the audience would groan disapprovingly. At that time, I didn't understand why the audience disapproved of that technique. But then eventually I understood.
Trust your audience. They are smart and don't like gimmicks.
1) Nós viajamos duas vezes ”por” mês. (We travel twice a month.)
2) Elas vão "para" a praia todo fim de semana. (They go to the beach every weekend.)
3) "Por" que serve isto? (What’s this for?)
4) É "por" isso que ela está triste. (That’s why she’s sad.)
5) Ela foi elogiada "por" todos. (She was praised by everyone.)