"Esto está por terminar."

Translation:This is about to end.

March 23, 2013



This seems to be a confusing construction for English speakers. If this confuses you, don't try to translate it word for word; sometimes you just can't do that. Just think "is about to" when ever you see "estar por."

August 19, 2013


The idiom exists in English, though it's somewhat learned usage. A famous example of it from the '80s is when Margaret Thatcher, the British prime minister at the time, said 'the lady is not for turning', with the 'is for' idiom meaning the same as 'estar por' here.

September 14, 2014


Sorry, I have to disagree with you. I think M. Thatcher meant "not for" ie "against" turning, whereas the "estar por" has a feeling of inevitability e.g. It's about to rain (there's nothing you can do to stop it)!

October 6, 2016


It makes it a lot easier to understand though, to now think of the sentence as "This is for finishing." No need to write off their analogy completely.

August 9, 2017


If I saw, "This is for finishing" I would think that it needed to be finished or even "(I'm giving you) this (money/present which) is for finishing (the work. Thanks!) But, whatever helps you!

August 10, 2017


Can we say Estoy por terminar also to mean i am about to finish or would that be Estoy a punto de terminar ?

September 4, 2014


No exactly, esto está por terminar, it means, still it is not finished, Perhaps it is made more of the 50 % , but still you have to make a lot.

We can say "está casi terminado" o "estoy a punto de terminar".. When the time to finish is a little bit of time.

June 24, 2016


Gracias Alejandro. :)

May 17, 2018


Muchas gracias por la información.

August 17, 2015


Even this answer confuses me. Sometimes I feel Duolingo is trying to teach literal Spanish and sometime English equivalents. I agree this is a confusing one. "Por" seems to have many translations; for, through, about, etc.

April 2, 2016


Is "est(ar) por" "is about to" or is por here idiomatic with terminar?

March 23, 2013


From my Spanish-English dictionary, "estar por" is "to be about to" or "to be in favor of."

March 23, 2013


Help! Give me some help distinguishing between these two idioms: (estar por) and estar para). Perhaps they are synonamous, but that is unlikely. Thanks in advance to the Spanish Gurus out there.

September 18, 2013


Treecie - I went in search of "está por" "está para" on Google and found the uses for por & para. This book [A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish, 4th Edition] gives partial preview but enough info for this topic. I have the 5th Edition as one of my go to books. The link should take you to Page 506 http://goo.gl/IRMkKw where you can read lots.

Now you'll see its comprehensive & touches on our issue. However I can't memorize all that so my conclusion is 1) spanish doesn't have a word for about as we have used it here 2) we need a "phrasal verb" in this situation. 3) different regions will use different phrases.

My dictionary defines estar por as [be about to] [be going to] [be in favor of] [be approximately at] and it lists several synonyms such as [estar próximo] [estar a punto] and even [estar para]. So I checked out estar para and we have [be about to] [be in the mood for] [be ready for] and yes the synonyms are cross referenced.

So whats the answer- there isn't one definitive answer. I read recently that a good language learner has to accept the gray areas & its what causes many to quit when they discover this aspect. I am no guru but I do like understanding how the language works. Hope something here helps.

August 31, 2014


rmcgwn, Thanks for sharing your search! Ahh yes, the gray area. For me, accepting the gray area makes it easier to continue! Idioms, prepositions, direct and indirect pronouns...I enjoy the moments when the light goes on and I learn another aspect of this language.

September 1, 2014


McGwire, A lingot for sharing all your helpful research

April 18, 2018


My grammar ( Spanish Verbs and Essentials of Grammar ) says estar por + infinitive means ' to be in favor of ' or ' is yet to be '. Such as: La carta esta por escribir ( the letter is yet to be written ) y yo estoy por escribirla ( I am in favor of writing it ).

Estar para + infinitive means to be about to. Such as ' Estoy para salir ' ( I am about to leave ).

I think Duo has this one backwards - or am I reading this wrong?

November 27, 2014


I tried “this is yet to finish” and “this is yet to be finished” but no go from DL. 10/13/18

October 13, 2018


Yes, there has been a lot of disagreement about this one over the years. My grammar worked well for me in CA.

October 13, 2018


Perhaps expressions such as this are best introduced as a lesson where you translate the Spanish words that you hear. That would provide an opportunity to see the idiomatic expression before being asked to figure it out without the necessary background.

February 27, 2014


Is there an order to the questions within a Duolingo lesson? I had the impression they were randomly chosen by the software. It is a game, after all, me against the computer, and I think of it as "the luck of the draw." I have a choice - I can guess and risk a heart, or I can search for the phrase on the Internet in order to meet the DL challenge. Without fail, when I choose to do the research, I learn more than I would have learned from the Duolingo lesson alone. Here are a couple of sites that I find helpful in these circumstances:



August 10, 2014



August 24, 2017


This is like acabar de but less commonly used. Take a look towards the bottome of the definitions of estar where it talks about estar por here. http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/estar

September 21, 2013


This is wrong!!! Estar por is when you are in favour of something. Estar para is when something is about to happen.

July 29, 2014


rmcgwn's response up above provides a link to a google book preview - on that page (506) it says that "estar por" is used for "about to" in Latin America, whereas in Spain it means more "to be in favour of something/thinking about doing something". This may be the same reason DL has translated it as such. I was also wondering if there was a way to say "about to" which would be correct in spain – could that be "estar para" perhaps, as you said?

July 17, 2015


Yes, all correct. "Esta para salir"- He's about to leave. "Esta por salir"- He is in favor of (for) leaving".

July 17, 2015


I checked the following three websites, and while the translations for this sentence vary, they all seem to support the Duolingo translation:

https://translate.google.com http://www.linguee.es/espanol-ingles/search?source=auto&query= http://www.reverso.net/translationresults.aspx?lang=EN&direction=spanish-english

August 10, 2014


"This is almost finished", why am I wrong?

September 16, 2014


I think your sentence would translate "Esto es casi terminó". Finished being the past tense. (I'm open to correction)

September 23, 2014


Probably "Esto está casi terminado". I think terminó would be used in cases of "It almost finished" (something in the past) rather than "It IS almost finished" (now, its current state).

January 11, 2015


This is ending is another perfectly reasonable translation rejected.

January 27, 2015


I learned that in order to say "about to" (do something), you are to use "estar para + an infinitive". not por. I would say that "estar por" means "to be in favor of ___"

August 3, 2015


Yea, plus, " La carta esta por escribir. " Meaning " The letter is YET to be written. ", and the response " Estoy por escribirla." I'm for writing it."

August 3, 2015


Estar para = about to do something; estar por = to be in favor or something

January 15, 2016


por terminar must be one of those expressions nthat can't be directly translated... it doesn't make sense when it's directly translated word for word....

March 29, 2013


I had never heard of esto por as an idiomatic expression so got a wrong answer, presumably its in the idioms sections offered for lingolots or whatever they are seems harsh when we havent had an idioms section previously, that Duolingo mostly good sometimes infuriating

April 29, 2014


No, I hadn't heard of that particular usage before either, and I've been studying Spanish for three years now. I guesd unfortunately it's one of those strange things that just needs to be memorized-- every language has them, English included.

The idioms bonus section from the store is actually about Spanish proverbs, like their own versions of sayings like "a watched pot never boils" and so on.

October 14, 2015


shouldn't "this is about to stop" also be counted as correct?

November 22, 2016


Don't think Duo ever taught us "esta por". I answered "This is ending". No go!

October 3, 2017


I got burned, too, with "This is ending." I decided that one reason my answer was wrong is because..."This is ending" is an example of the present progressive, i.e. a conjugated form of "to be" plus a gerund. In Spanish, one could also use the present progressive ("Esto está terminando" maybe?). Alternatively, in Spanish, we could use the present indicative. Unlike English, "Esto termina" can mean either "This ends" or "This is ending." Thus, why would we go to the extra trouble of adding "estar por" when a simple "termina" would do?

November 29, 2017


Appropriately, this was my 2nd to last question in this (review) lesson. XD

August 24, 2014


is it just me or did the "terminar" sound like "caminar"?

January 31, 2016


Where is the "about to end" to be understood in the word por???

July 4, 2016


this is about finished?

December 13, 2016


Why not "this is going to stop"?

February 11, 2017


I tried this is about over. Though it's not exact it seems to carry the meaning. It was rejected.

August 29, 2017


With all there is to teach...why an idiomatic expression that cant be agreed upon?

October 10, 2017


'Estar por', meaning 'about to', is a colloquial expression. I had to hunt through my Larousse to find it. Larousse translates it as 'is on the verge of'. Sorry, I must have missed what this lesson was supposed to be about. I thought it was adjectives.

October 12, 2017


why we cant say : esto es por terminar ?

December 14, 2017


Just idiomatic, I think.

December 14, 2017


This is finishing means the same thing in Spanish, and I was marked incorrectly!

December 29, 2017


This is about to end makes more sense than the translation given of This is almost finished. I can see por for about, but not almost. Guess I will go with Numinous's suggestion of translating estar por to "is about to".

April 18, 2018


Exactly what is the difference between "This is about to end." and my answer, "This is ending."?

April 25, 2018


There is no "about"

February 5, 2019


That would be the por.

Por + verb means about to do something.

February 6, 2019
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