Jun 24 / Alejandro Nunez

The POR & PARA Chronicles: A Quick Guide to Master these prepositions + QUIZ

Today, I'd like to go over one of the topics students find very challenging: The prepositions POR and PARA.
These prepositions have a special place in the minds of Spanish learners since their translation depends on context and meaning.

Before learning the translations, I recommend learning the scenarios and contexts for using them.

Let's start with the uses of 'POR':

1) Expressing cause or reason:


  • Tengo que viajar la próxima semana por trabajo - I have to travel next week for work

2) Expressing duration of time:


  • Voy a estudiar Español por 30 minutos todos los días - I’m going to study Spanish for 30 minutes every day.

3) Indicating movement or location:


  • Ayer fui a caminar en la ciudad y pasé por un restaurante Venezolano - Yesterday, I went for a walk in the city and went through a Venezuelan restaurant.

4) Specifying the way of communication or means of transportation:


  • Voy a enviar la información por correo electrónico - I’m going to send the information by email.

5) Expressing exchange or substitution:


  • Necesito cambiar mi carro por uno nuevo - I need to change my car for a new one.

6) Expressing gratitude:


Muchas gracias por tu ayuda - Thank you very much for your help.

7) Denoting the agent in passive constructions:


Este libro fue escrito por Isabel Allende - This book was written by Isabel Allende.

The English translations for the preposition 'POR' are:

For - By - Through - Because of - In exchange for - During - Per - By means of - On behalf of.

Let's continue with the uses of 'PARA':

1) Expressing purpose or intention:


  • Quiero aprender Español para comunicarme con la comunidad Hispana - I want to learn Spanish to communicate with the Hispanic community.

2) Referring to deadlines or specific times:


  • Necesito el informe para mañana - I need the report by tomorrow.

3) Indicating recipient or intended recipient:


  • Compré un regalo para mi hijo - I bought a gift for my son.

4) Expressing an opinion:


  • Para mí, esta es la mejor opción - For me, this is the best option.

5) Indicating the purpose of an object/thing:


  • Este cuchillo es para cortar pan - This knife is for cutting bread.

6) Expressing comparison:


  • La casa parece más nueva para haber sido construida hace 20 años - The house looks newer for a house that was built 20 years ago.

7) Indicating seniority or higher rank (usually in work-related topics)


  • Daniela trabaja para una gran compañía - Daniela works for a great company.

The English translations for the preposition 'PARA' are:

For - To - In order to - Towards - For the purpose of - For the benefit of - Intended for - Destined for

Test your knowledge with our short and interactive POR v PARA quiz: 
With consistent effort, you can reach fluency in Spanish! Keep learning, practicing, and immersing yourself in the language. It may take time, but with dedication, you can achieve your goal.

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