Por versus Para  

Spanish Prepositions Por vs Para
Overview

Proper use of the prepositions por and para can be difficult for non-native Spanish speakers because of their variety of meanings. Both of them usually mean "for". Let's focus on their uses to truly grasp por vs para.

Use por to indicate reason or motive:

Estoy aquí por asuntos de negocios.
I am here because of (for) business reasons.

Use por when discussing time or day:

Hago la tarea por las noches.
I do homework at night (for nights).

Use por when expressing exchange:

Te doy mis palabras por tu dinero.
I give you my words for your money.

Use para to indicate purpose or use :

Sonia va al supermercado para comprar el pan.
Sonia goes to the grocery store in order (for) to buy the bread.

Use para to express destination: recipient (a person):

María va a comprar un regalo para él.
Mary is going to buy a gift for him.

Use para to express destination: location (a place):

¿A qué hora parte un tren para Berlín?
What time does a train leave for Berlin?

Use para to show use:
Aquí hay un lápiz de color para colorear.
Here is a colored pencil for coloring.

Use para for specific time:
Sólo para el año nuevo.
Only for New Years Eve.

Use para to say being:
Es muy caro para un anillo.
It is very expensive for a ring.

Use por for a place or an area:
Está por el barrio.
It's for (around) the neighborhood.

Use por to express per:
Puede tener una hora por día como máximo.
You can have one hour for (per) day maximum.

Use por to express passive voice:
El taxi es conducido por Juan.
The taxi is driven by Juan.

Use por with manner, means of:
Ellos vienen por tren.
They come for (by) train.

Use por with price:
¿Cuánto cobran por noche?
How much do you all charge for (per) night?

Use por with verbs like ir, enviar, venir, etc.:
La comisión por enviar el dinero es de veinte dólares.
The fee for sending the money is $20.

Use para for opinion:
Para mí, el color del coche es muy importante.
For me (in my opinion), the color of the car is very important.

Use para to say for:
Sí, un medicamento para la gripe.
Yes, a medicine for a cold.

By the time you finish this lesson, por vs para will no longer be a dilemma for you!


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