What’s the resolve por vs. para? That’s a common question from Spanish learners.

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That provides feeling, bereason the distinction between the words por and also para is among Spanish’s more challenging aspects. But I’m here to aid you understand also it all.

Here’s a quick overview: Many of the time, both por and para analyze to the word “for” in English. But para expresses a final goal, location or purpose. Por conveys a activity or an exadjust.

Don’t worry, we’ll go even more into detail throughout the write-up.

And because I’m all around language hacking, I’ll teach you a straightforward hack to make the distinction in between por and para in emergency instances.

In truth, here’s what we’ll cover:

Table of contents

Por and Para: The Basic Rules

Let’s dive in!


Por vs. Para: Why Tright here Are Two Words for “For” in Spanish

You could be thinking: Why does the language call for so many type of rules simply to say somepoint that can be explained via one word in English? If we deserve to acquire by in English simply saying “for”, why execute we require two sepaprice words in Spanish?”

Before you begin reasoning that Spanish is the “weird” language of the 2, have an objective look at the English word “for”. Why carry out we usage simply this one word to explain many different ideas?

Look at these 3 sentences:

“I bought eggs for breakfast.”“I bought eggs for €2.99.”“I bought eggs for Harry.”

Try explaining to a student of English why the heck we use the word “for” in all 3 of these sentences! It actually provides less feeling to execute it this way than to usage different words for different contexts.

It seems choose Spanish has actually the ideal idea!

Like any kind of “difficult” language attribute, the consumption of por and para simply takes a little bit of practice to get appropriate.

Let’s dig into just how you can learn the distinction between them.

A Helpful Por vs. Para Hack for Right Now

Para has actually far fewer offers than por. This implies you have the right to employ a straightforward hack to acquire you using these words in your Spanish conversations as easily as feasible.

It’s simple: just learn the rules for para, and also then you have the right to assume that any kind of scenario not spanned by the para rules uses por rather.

I’ll obtain to these rules in a minute. I simply wanted to reassure you first: it deserve to be quick to reach a “good enough” phase in making use of por and also para. Is this a perfect hack? Nope! But it’s a quick one!

It will certainly gain you out and making use of por and also para, at a pretty decent level, ideal now.

A Longer Term Por vs. Para Hack

Over time, you should study all of the consumption rules of each word so that you have the right to fine-tune your abilities and also learn to usage each word like a pro.

The best way to perform this, in my endure, is to create a flash card deck.

Pick an app favor Anki or Flashcards Deluxe. Make sure that it uses a spaced repetition system to help you learn more conveniently.

Next, gather as many kind of sentences as you have the right to uncover that usage either por or para. The ones I list later in this post are an excellent begin, however don’t speak tbelow. The even more examples you discover, the faster you’ll learn just how to use each word naturally and without a second assumed.

Placed the English sentence on one side of each card, and also the Spanish translation on the various other. When researching, interpret each sentence right into Spanish, out loud.

Trust me, after some days of continuous exercise, you’ll be making use of por and para prefer a aboriginal speaker.

Por and Para: The Basic Rules

Now let’s obtain dvery own to company.

What are the actual rules for using each word? Instead of explaining every one of the various intake rules, I’m going to begin through some examples. They must make the rules even more clear once I perform explain them.

Take a look at the adhering to Spanish para sentences and also their English translations. Don’t skim them; check out each one, and its translation, closely.

When to Use Para – Instances and Rules

Estoy estudianperform biología para entrar a la escuela de medicina – “I’m studying biology to get right into medical college.”Estoy aquí para hablar con Sam – “I’m here to talk to Sam.”Ellos construyeron el nuevo puente para aliviar la congestión del tráfico – “They constructed the brand-new bridge in order to minimize traffic congestion.”El autobús sale para Santiback en diez minutos – “The bus leaves for Santiback in ten minutes.”Parto para Francia mañana. – “I decomponent for France tomorrow.”Programé una cita médica para el lunes – “I made a doctor’s appointment for Monday.”Por favor, ten el artículo listo para mañana – “Please have actually the post ready for tomorrow.”Tejí este suéter para mi madre – “I knitted this sweater for my mother.”Esta canción es para ti – “This song is for you.”La música es demasiacarry out ruidosa para mí – “The music is as well loud for me.”Hearlier ejercicio para mi salud – “I exercise for my health.”

Can you see a pattern in all of these sentences? They all have actually somepoint in common.

Words para appears to convey the same principle in each sentence, even though the conmessage is various. The meaning that para conveys is that of a final goal, destination or purpose.

This might be a person (Tejí este suéter para mi madre), a deadline (Por favor, tener el artículo listo para mañana), or an outcome (Ellos construyeron el nuevo puente para aliviar la congestión del tráfico).

One even more thing: When you see para complied with by an infinitive verb, para suggests “to” or “in order to”.


Vine aquí para comer – “I came below to eat.”Estoy leyenperform el libro para mejorar mi español – “I’m reading the book in order to boost my Spanish.”

This is one of the many common offers of para, and also you deserve to clearly view how it conveys a sense of function.

Fast exercise: in my 3 English “egg sentences” at the beginning of this short article, which ones have the principle of a goal or purpose?

“I bought eggs for breakfast” – Compré los huevos para el desayuno.“I bought eggs for €2.99.”“I bought eggs for Harry.”

Look at the first one. What was the function of the eggs? To be my breakfast. So this sentence equates right into Spanish with the word para: Compré los huevos para el desayuno.

That’s really all there is to it for the word para.

Next off time you’re chatting in Spanish and you’re not sure whether the sentence needs por or para, think back to the concept of a destination, goal or objective. Is tright here a solitary endallude, or an objective, in the sentence?

If so, then you deserve to be reasonably confident that para is the ideal choice.

When to Use Por – Instances and Rules

Now examine out these sentences that use por:

He vivido en Colombia por cinco años. – “I lived in Colombia for 5 years.”Veo la televisión por una hora todos los días. – “I watch TV for one hour every day.”Pasé el día caminanexecute por las calles de San Francisco – “I spent the day walking through the roads of San Francisco.”Hoy solamente, puedes comprar dos pizzas por $ 10 – “Today only, you deserve to buy two pizzas for $10.”Lo hice por respeto – “I did it for respect, or “out of respect”.”Te pagaré el martes por una hamburguesa hoy – “I’ll pay you Tuesday for a hamburger now.”Mi hermano estaba enfermo, así que cuidé a los niños por él – “My brother was sick, so I babysat the kids for him (instead of him).”Me encanta el esperanto por su gramática sencilla – “I love Esperanto for its simple grammar.”El juego fue cancelacarry out por la lluvia – “The game was cancelled because of rain.”Alquilamos un lugar más grande por el número de personas – “We rented a bigger venue bereason of the number of civilization.”No me gusta hablar por teléfono – “I don’t choose talking on the phone.”Estoy por la libertad de expresión – “I’m in favour of / I am for free speech.”El cuadro fue pintacarry out por Picasso – “The photo was painted by Picasso.”

What’s the pattern here? Well, tright here are actually several, and also some of them are a bit even more subtle than the para pattern.

The main principle through por is that it’s offered in sentences that convey the sense of motion. This “motion” might be a duration of time, a activity with a physical area, or an exadjust of some sort.

The initially seven sentences over usage por to convey this meaning of movement.

(Note: A few of my instance sentences usage por to explain a length of time. That’s the case with He vivido en Colombia por cinco años. This use of por is even more common in Latin America than in Spain. In European Spanish it’s more common to say He viviperform en Colombia durante cinco años.)

Quick quiz. Let’s go back to my eggy sentences from earlier in this article. Why perform you think the second sentence, “I bought eggs for €2.99”, would use por?

In this instance, the interpretation conveyed is of an exchange. The eggs expense €2.99, so I phelp €2.99 in exchange for the eggs. This exreadjust is the “motion” referred to in the sentence.

This is the main consumption of por, however tright here are several various other means to usage it:

to suggest a cause or reason for something — e.g. Me encanta el esperanto por su sencilla gramática (“I love Esperanto due to its straightforward grammar.”)to describe a means or implies of doing somepoint — e.g. No me gusta hablar por teléfono (“I don’t favor talking via phone.”)to express assistance for something — e.g. Estoy por la libertad de expresión (“I am for free speech.”)to say who performed an activity in a passive building and construction – e.g. El cuadro fue pintaexecute por Picasso (“The photo was painted by Picasso.”)

This could be difficult to wrap your head around at first. As I shelp prior to, por is even more complicated than para. Tright here are certainly quite a couple of even more uses for por than tright here are for para.

So make your life easier by obtaining comfortable through para initially.

Do Some Sentences Work With Both Por and Para? – The Case of Doing Something On Someone’s Behalf

Look at my three eggy sentences aacquire.

“I bought eggs for breakfast” – Compré los huevos para el desayuno.“I bought eggs for €2.99” – Compré los huevos por €2.99.“I bought eggs for Harry.”

I still haven’t covered the 3rd one: “I bought eggs for Harry.” Do you think this have to usage por or para?

Arguably, this sentence conveys a sense of destination or function. Harry receives the eggs, however I bought the eggs and offered them to Harry. So Harry’s the goal, or location, in the sentence.

In this situation, the translation would certainly be Compré los huevos para Harry.

But once you think around it, the English sentence is ambiguous. Am I really going to give the eggs to Harry? Maybe Harry asked me to buy eggs and also offer them to Susie.

In that case, I’m still doing it “for” Harry; I’m buying them on his befifty percent. If this is the situation, you’d use por. Compré los huevos por Harry.

If this isn’t clear, imagine exactly how Harry might expression this request: “Please buy eggs for Susie for me.” Notice how the word “for” is offered twice, but implies somepoint different each time.

In Spanish this sentence would be Por favor, compra huevos para Susie por mí.

Do you see? This mirrors how the difference between por and also para allows you convey more interpretation in Spanish than via the English word “for”.

Why do we only have actually one word in English again?


How to Have Por or Para on the Tip of Your Tongue

However before you select to go about discovering these two words, don’t opt for trying to memorize all the rules prior to making use of the words in actual life. It would certainly be a waste of time.

That’d be a little like reading a book around how to knit, and then sitting dvery own with your knitting needles and expecting to end up via a decent pair of socks. Not gonna happen!

It’s better to use the words at the exact same time as you’re learning the rules.

Make a flash card deck making use of the above sentences. Put both the por and para sentences right into one deck, to aid you practise the difference). Practise it regularly. Translate the sentences out loud into Spanish. When you make a mistake, then go ago and inspect the rules.

By doing this, you’ll construct an instinctive knowledge of when to use each word.

Online Quizzes to Check Your Por vs. Para Progress

In addition to flash cards, tbelow are several virtual quizzes you can practise through. Here are a few:

You’re on Your Way to MasterPor and Para!

Finally, for a little bit of fun, take a look at this list of prevalent Spanish expressions containing por and also para, which you’ll hear a lot in Spanish.

Por and para in these expressions don’t necessarily follow the rules above. Don’t sweat over them as well much though! As lengthy as you soptimal Spanish with real civilization on a continual basis, you’ll hear these expressions regularly sufficient that their usage will soon start to feel organic. You’ll have the ability to use them without a second thought.

See more: What Does For An Older Version Mean, Old Version Definition

Wow, that was a chunky lesson! Take some time to let it sink in.

If you’re in the mood for somepoint lighter, exactly how about checking out some Spanish puns? Or possibly the 101 core Spanish words?