"Yo te puedo esperar."
Translation:I can wait for you.
Neither WordReference nor SpanishDict offer "to meet" as a translation for "esperar"
Esperar - to wait, to wait for, to hope, to expect
I find wordreference to attest esperar as to meet/greet, for example, to meet the plane
Could be idiomatic though.
I think that would be a non-common usage. And it does mean "to meet" but kind of in the sense of waiting - they will meet the plane -- by waiting for it.
For 90% of usage of esperar, especially in Duo, it's "to wait/wait for/hope for"
Te puedo esperar and puedo esperarte should be equivalent.
My Spanish teacher told me that largely, the choice to attach the IO to the infinitive vs. before the verb is just a choice of style.
For some reason, given the nature of this verb, I think Te puedo esperar sounds better. Can't explain why, just a gut feeling.
Roosky2013 (supra) explains that the for is contained in the verb which means "wait for". Another "for" would be redundant. I also found a more technical explanation in my new grammar book (Christmas present). It says that esperar is a special case (like buscar) - It is a transitive verb and in this sentence te is a direct object!! (In the English translation it's a prepositional phrase, though) So, no. In my opinion, you can't say, "Yo puedo esperar para ti"
Could you say "I can hope/wish for you"? I can wish for you if I want....throwing a penny in fountain or I can wish for you....to go to college.....or would this be more of 'deserar'?
I do understand 'wait' sounds a lot more natural and is probably a far more common use of the word but I was just wondering with my comments above.
Por indicates some type of exchange.
Trabajo por Juan - Juan has the day off, and I am taking his place.
Para indicates an end point, something going in one direction and stopping.
Trabajo para Juan - Juan is my boss.
(Think of an organizational chart, where there is an arrow pointing from Juan to me, his employee)
Both sentences would translate to "work for" in English (in this, I like the way Spanish does it).
This is why, if you want to wait on behalf of someone, por is used. You are (In a way) exchanging your body for theirs :)
Wazzie's advice is good. "Por" is used more for things that carry a sense of motion: velocity, exchange, duration, cause. "Para" is more end point: destination, receipt, deadline, purpose.
Within context it would be understood just fine, and it is possibly even the norm in some English dialects. However, out of context "I can wait on you" would commonly be taken as meaning "I can serve you" so DL is probably right to discourage it here to avoid confusion.
The appropriate meaning of esperar here is await as in "I can await you". However, that seems a little old-fashioned or formal nowadays (eg your lawyer may write "We await your further instructions" meaning tell me if you want me to do something else ). Normally we are more likely use a preposition and say "I can wait for you".