'para' and 'por'
Hi, can anyone help me about these please? What's the difference between 'para' and 'por'?
General distinction: Para = Destination, objective. Por = Cause
Por ti -------- Because of you
Para ti ........... This gift is for you.
I had (still have sometimes!) difficulties with them as well, but I recently looked them up in a basic Spanish grammar book; this is what I know:
• when expressing a movement towards something or somewhere
Salgo para Madrid - I leave for Madrid
• when expressing a purpose
Vengo para saludarle - I come to greet (someone)
• when someone is the recipient of an action
Estas flores son para ti - These flowers are for you
• when expressing an opinion
Para mí te estás equivocado - In my opinion you are wrong
• when expressing a movement through somewhere or something
Ella camina por el centro - She walks through the centre (of the city)
• when expressing a stative action or a condition
Vivo por la zona del puerto - I live by the harbor area
• when expressing a cause or motive
El aeropuerto cierra por la niebla - The airport closes because of the fog
• when expressing the duration/length of an action
Viajo por una semana - I travel for a week
Hope this helps! (Folks who know better, feel free to correct me or add in better rules/examples!)
For example: 'El tomate es para la sopa.' 'Una manzana por nino' can we change por and para for these sentences? I was checking the links SpanishDict and StudySpanish, but as far as i've read, this para and por thing is a little bit more confusing than i thought.
Ok, so looking at your examples, let us try to think this way:
El tomate es para la sopa = "para" here is used in the sense of "being used for", so you're using a tomato to cook/prepare your soup;
(if you say that you are using one tomato per soup, then that sentence is slightly different: "un tomate por sopa" / "one tomato per soup")
Una manzana por niño = "por" here is being used in the sense of "for each one";
So they are not interchangeable for the examples you provided.
"yo como un tomate por día" (i eat one tomate each day"; in this example, "un tomate para dia" would not make sense, because you can't use a tomato "for" the day, got it? confusing sometimes...
Hope this helps, and if you have more examples, just write them here.
Gracias por la ayuda :) of course it was helpful. So you say 'por' can also be used for the word 'per' in English but for the word 'for', 'por' is mostly used i guess. I hope, in time i will be better in Spanish. Thanks again.