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Por y Para


On this page, we will learn where and when to use the prepositions por y para. Both of these words mean "for." Yet these words are used in very different contexts. Choosing which word to use can affect the meaning of a sentence. This is not one of the biggest lessons you will learn with the Spanish language, but it is important for you to learn this.

Please note that some of the grammar in these sections are words and conjugatons you may not have learned already. Don't worry; I suggest you use this as a way for you to expand your vocabulary.
Use Example
express movement or direction to a goal Salgo para la Cuidad de México el viernes I am leaving for Mexico City next Friday
indicate a specific time limit or a fixed point in time Ese mural ya estará terminado para navidad That mural will already be finished by Christmas
to express a purpose, goal, or destination Esta tarjeta postal es para ti This postcard is for you
to express an implied comparison of inequality México está bastante industrializado para us país de Tercer Mundo Mexico is fairly industrialized for a Third World country
to indicate the person or persons holding an opinion or making a judgement Para muchas personas, los murales de Diego Rivera reflehan las esencia de la cultura mexicana. Para mí, expresan un fuerte mensaje social For many people, Diego Rivera's murals reflect the essence of Mexican culture. For me, they express a strong social message
Use Example
express movement along or through a place Es agradable caminar por el Parque de Chapultepec It is pleasent to walk through Chapultepec Park
to indicate duration of time La cultura Teotihuacán dominó Mesoamérica por casi ocho siglos Teotihuacán culture dominated Middle (central) America for alomost eight centuries
to indicate the cause, reason, or motive of an action Muchos turistas visitan el Museo de Antropología por curiosidad Many tourists visit the Museum of Anthropology out of curiosity.
to exprss on behalf of, for the sake of, or in favor of Debemos hacer muchos sacrificios por el bienestar del país We must make many sacrifices for the well-being of the country.
to express the excahnge or substitution of one thing for another ¿Cuantos pesos mexicanos dan por un dólar How many Mexican pesos do they give for a dollar
to indicate a means of transportation or communication Llamaré a Carlos por telephono para decirle que viajaremos por tren, no por autobus I will call Carlos to tell him that we will be traveling by train, not by bus.
to indicate rate, frequency, or unit or measure México tiene un médico por cada seiscientos habitantes Mexico has one doctor per six hundred people
in the following common phrases por ahora for the time being
por cierto* of course
por consiguiente consequently
por eso that's why
por fin finally
por la mañana/tarde/noche in the morning/afternoon/night
por lo menos at least
por lo tanto therefore
por más (mucho) que however much
por otra parte on the other hand
por poco almost
por supuesto* of course
por último finally

*yes, they have the same meaning.

Now you know when to use por and para (for the most part). You must memorize this chart in order to speak Spanish better. And now, I leave you my dear visitors porque tengo que hacer tarea de mis clases como la ciencia de las computadoras e ingles y español. Gracias para visitar