https://www.duolingo.com/SwiftySlasher

"Por" vs. "Para"

SwiftySlasher
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I noticed that in Spanish, both por and para mean "for". I mostly use "para", and it works most of the time. But under which circumstances should you use "por" and under which circumstances should you use "para"? I don't want to misuse these two words. For example: You say, "Hablar por telefono" and NOT "Hablar para telefono". Or, you'd say, "El libro es para ti" and NOT "El libro es por ti".

4 years ago

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lavmarx
Lavmarx
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I always say that "por" has a culprit or a way, and "para" has a purpose or a receiver.

Por:

  • Lo hice por ti. - I did it because of you. (culprit)
  • Todo esto pasó por tu culpa! - This is all your fault! (culprit)
  • Vamos a pasar por ahí. - Let's go through there. (a way)
  • Pasamos por la tienda y después vamos por él. - We pass by the store and then we go get him. (a way and a culprit)

Para:

  • Esto es para él - This is for him. (receiver)
  • La cuchara es para comer! - The spoon is for eating! (purpose)
  • Lo hice para ti. - I made it for you. (receiver)
  • Los ojos son para ver. - Eyes are for seeing. (purpose)
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Br4him
Br4him
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Muchas gracias !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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Thanks. This is a MUCH simpler explanation and much easier to apply. I'm shaky on the use with time, it's para mañana when it's a deadline, but por seis dias? so deadline vs timespan?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lavmarx
Lavmarx
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You pretty much explained it yourself. When talking about time "para" indicates a deadline or the moment you're supposed to make/do something. "Por" indicates the amount of time that passed or will pass, notice that sometimes you do not need "por" to indicate timespan.

  • El ensayo es para el jueves. - The essay is due on Thursday.
  • Voy a correr por veinte minutos - I will run for twenty minutes.
  • Espero que esté listo para mañana - I hope it's ready for tomorrow.
  • Lo necesito para el martes. I need it for Tuesday.

No word needed:

  • Estuve allí (por) seis horas! - I was there for six hours!
  • Me quedaré (por) una semana en su casa. I will stay at his house for a week.
  • Voy a correr (por) diez minutos. - I will run for ten minutes.
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/John_Payne

Klgregonis, I guess that Lamarz' explanation would work here, because reaching a "Deadline" can be considered a purpose, and for six days could be considered a Way to get there. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cleeent
Cleeent
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This is a good explanation but, of course, there are still things that aren't clear.

Duolingo example:

This change will have created more jobs by next month.

Este cambio habrá creado más trabajos para el próximo mes.

I don't see how one would consider "el próximo mes" a receiver or purpose. But, now, I see you have clarified this in a response below to a question about time (deadline or moment = para; duration = por). Thank you.

Actually, I put "antes de" instead of "para" for the sentence above and it was accepted by DL.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lavmarx
Lavmarx
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It can be used, but there is a slight difference. When you say "para el próximo mes" you mean on or before that month, "antes de" is strictly before, not on that month.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cleeent
Cleeent
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Thank you for that clarification :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Resonance2001

Para often means (intended) for and 'in order to'. Por could mean 'by'.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SwiftySlasher
SwiftySlasher
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Thank you so much! I'll keep that in mind.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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Para can also be translated to "by". In the case of deadlines "para mañana" = "by tomorrow". Por means "by" when it is a method. "por tren" ="by train"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SwiftySlasher
SwiftySlasher
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Oh, thanks! But I didn't know you could use por to show transportation. I have always used en (such as "en barco [by boat]") or a (such as "a pie [by foot]") Thanks for the information!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Resonance2001

One more little thing: Lo hice para ti = I did it for you Lo hice por ti = i did it because of you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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"El libro es para ti" The book is a gift for you. (recipient of the action)

"El libro es por ti". You are being traded for a book. (an exchange).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaeeSafaee
MaeeSafaee
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i had the same problem, someone recommended me to subscribe Professor Jason on Youtube, it worked :) this video is particularly about the difference between por and para :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f14Nef5zOEY&list=UU2-lKlnIdzq6-e-zwU34YJw

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditya24

I agree with this. He makes it quite clear. Along with the video, I also used http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/porpara.htm It's a very useful site for pretty much any Spanish concept.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Br4him
Br4him
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Interesting website ! Muchas gracias !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Br4him
Br4him
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Gracias !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaeeSafaee
MaeeSafaee
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De nada :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Br4him
Br4him
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I am still confused. Can someone please clarify ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SwiftySlasher
SwiftySlasher
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According to what I've heard thus far, por is used for exchanging (un radio por un espejo=a radio for a mirror) and also for transportation (por tren=by train). Para is for showing who you are giving something to (El libro es para mí=The book is for me) or can be used as "by".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Br4him
Br4him
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Gracias !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SwiftySlasher
SwiftySlasher
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De nada.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/walejandromt

¿Para que lo haces? ¿Por que lo haces?

Estoy hecho para ti Estoy por ahi

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vwlj
vwlj
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POR: cause, motive, because of, on behalf of, on account of (cierro la ventana por mi abuela); duration of time (Estoy aquí por un mes); through, by, along, by way of (Juan va por Calle Insurgentes al museo); in exchange for (Los plátanos son diez pesos por veinte); measure, frequency - like the English "per" (Ese auto va cien km por hora); with the object of an errand (Voy al mercado por lechuga).

PARA: re. the intended use of something or someone (Este vaso es para cerveza); re. a recipient (Esta blusa es para tí, Mamá); re. toward a certain direction (Salimos para México mañana); re. a specific point in time (Este museo está abierto para Navidad); re. a purpose (Estudiamos para hablar español); lack of correspondence, implied comparison (El es muy honrado para un político).

There may be other instances of usage. And, even though I theoretically know the above, I still confuse the two!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Johnny-jay

This websit helped me a lot with Por vs Para.

http://www.spanishnewyork.com/automatic/porpara.php

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/singlittledove

Use por to indicate: -length of time or distance -place where an action takes place -an exchange -reason or motive -substitution or action on someone’s behalf -means of communication/ transportation Also use por in certain expressions: -Por ejemplo -Por la mañana (tarde, noche) -Por favor -Por eso -Por lo general -Por primera (segunda, tercera) vez -Por supuesto Use para to indicate: -purpose (in order to) -destination -a point in time, deadline -use, purpose -opinion

4 years ago

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