What are the differences between Por and Para? Learn the basics and test yourself!
One thing that foreign learners find challenging is the difference between Por and Para… because in English, they both translate to mean ‘for’.
Here we’ll lay out the key differences between them, hopefully clearing up any doubts you may have or simply helping to give you a head start on this tricky part of learning Spanish!
Para: ‘for’ or ‘in order to’
Por: ‘for’, ‘by’ or ‘because of’
This is a very simplistic way to look at it and so here are some rules coupled with examples to clarify it a bit more!
When to use ‘Para’?
- When aiming to do something / to achieve a purpose ( like ‘in order to’)
Corro todos los días para estar en forma– I run every day to stay in shape
- When going in that direction (when using the verb ‘to go’)
Voy para el parque – I’m going to the park (in that direction)
- When giving your opinion
Para mí, él es el mejor – For me, he’s the best
When to use ‘Por’?
- When giving a reason (kind of like ‘because’)
Está nervioso por el examen – He’s nervous for (because of) the exam
Gracias por ayudarme – Thank you for helping me
- When talking about location in a broad sense
Me gusta pasear por el parque – I like walking in the park
Dónde está Ana? …Por allí – Where’s Ana? … She’s over there
In terms of location it can be used to substitute through, in, around, over etc. It indicates the position of something or someone in a general sense!
- To describe frequency
Voy dos veces por semana – I go twice a week
- When saying ‘by’
El libro fue escrito por… – The book was written by …
- As a means of doing something
Te lo mando por e-mail – I will send it to you by e-mail
Now it’s time to TEST YOURSELF …
5 questions on Por and Para, let’s see how you do?
(Answers are at the bottom)
- Estudio español dos veces … semana
- Los deberes son … el próximo martes
- Gracias… todo. Especialmente … vuestra paciencia y … vuestra esfuerzo
- Esta no es la dirección. Yo creo que … Toledo es … allí
- No andes… el césped. Está prohibido.
If you are interested in improving your grammar skills and taking your Spanish to the next level, why not enrol in a class to suit your needs and requirements. We provide group or private classes, and there’s also the option of customized or specific Spanish courses. Take a look at our options in more detail here.
- POR, POR, POR
- PARA, POR