Ch. 9: Por & Para

Common expressions with "por":
around here; this way x2

por aqu�
por ac�

Common expressions with "________"
around there; that way x2

por all�
por all�

Common expressions with "________"
for now

por ahora

Common expressions with "________"
by chance

por casualidad

Common expressions with "________"
usually x2

por lo com�n
por costumbre

Common expressions with "________"
for example

por ejemplo

Common expressions with "__________"
therefore, for this/that reason, that's why, that is why

por eso

therefore x4

por eso
por tanto
por lo tanto
por consiguiente

for this reason

por eso

for that reason

por eso

that's why

por eso

that is why

por eso

Common expressions with "________"

por favor

Common expressions with "________"
finally x2

por fin
por �ltimo

Common expressions with "________"
at least

por lo menos

Common expressions with "________"
almost (nearly), however little (phrase)

por poco

Common expressions with "_________"
for the first time

por primera vez

Common expressions with "________"
of course

por supuesto

Common expressions with "________"
everywhere x2

por todas partes
por todos lados

Common expressions with "__________"
in the morning (imprecise time)

por la ma�ana

Common expressions with "________"
in the afternoon

por la tarde

Common expressions with "________"
in the evening

por la noche

Por" and "para" compared
"Para" means "for, in order to" but it's also used to express a specific time limit or deadline in the future. In this context, it can be translated as "for, by, on, or before".
I need the blouse for Friday.

Necesito la blusa para el viernes.

__________" is translated simply as "for" only when it precedes a quantity/period of time.
I am going to travel for several months.

Voy a viajar por varios meses.

________" is translated simply as "for" only when it precedes a quantity/period of time.
She watches television* for an hour.

Ella mira televisi�n por una hora.

________" is translated simply as "for" only when it precedes a quantity/period of time.
We sleep for eight hours every (c) night.

Dormimos por ocho horas cada noche.

Again, "por" means "for" only when it precedes a period of time. "Para" means "for" in almost all other cases.
We want a room (
) for two persons for one night.

Queremos una habitaci�n para dos personas por una noche.

Again, "por" means "for" only when it precedes a period of time. "Para" means "for" in almost all other cases.
The train is leaving for Canada.

El tren sale para el Canad�.

Rule: to express gratitude or apology
Model: Thanks for the help.

Gracias por la ayuda.

Rule: for multiplication and division
Model: Two times two equals four.

Dos por dos son cuatro.

Rule: for velocity, frequency and proportion
Model: I go to the restaurant five times per week.

Voy al restaurante cinco veces por semana.

Rule: meaning "through," "along," "by" or "in the area of"
Model: We walk (not "c") through the park.

Andamos por el parque.

Rule: when talking about exchange, including sales
Model: He gave me ten dollars for the book.

�l me dio diez d�lares por el libro.

Rule: to mean "on behalf of," or "in favor of,"
Model: I didn't vote for anyone.

No vot� por nadie.

Rule: to express a length of time
Model: I studied for two hours.

Yo estudi� por dos horas.

Rule: to express an undetermined, or general time, meaning "during"
Model: One can see the stars
the night.

Se puede ver las estrellas por la noche.

Rule: for means of communication or transportation
Model: I prefer to travel by train and speak by phone.

Prefiero viajar por tren y hablar por tel�fono.

Rule: in cases of mistaken identity, or meaning "to be seen as"
Model: They take me for crazy.

Me tienen por loco.

Rule: to show the reason for an errand (with ir, venir, pasar, mandar, volver, and preguntar)
Model: I'll come by for you at eight o'clock.

Paso por ti a las ocho.

Rule: when followed by an infinitive, to express an action that remains to be completed, use
+ ________ + infinitive
Model: Dinner has yet to be cooked.

La cena est� por cocinar.

Rule: to express cause or reason
Model: The man died for lack of water.

El hombre muri� por falta de agua.

+ ______ means to be "in the mood, or inclined to do something"
I'm in the mood for
drinking coffee.

Estoy por tomar caf�.

Rule: in passive constructions
Model: The book was written by Octavio Paz.

El libro fue escrito por Octavio Paz.

Por" also appears in many idiomatic expressions.


in advance

por adelantado

for the love of God

por amor de Dios

________ percent

por ciento


por cierto


por completo

________ inside

por dentro

unfortunately x2

por desgracia


por lo general


por lo visto

by means of

por medio de


por lo tanto

as for me

por mi parte


por ning�n lado

on the other hand

por otra parte

word for word

palabra por palabra

for the first time

por primera vez


por separado


por suerte

on all sides

por todos lados

Para" � in contrast, has relatively fewer uses.


Rule: to indicate destination
Model: The man left for Madrid.

El hombre sali� para Madrid.

Rule: to show the use or purpose of a thing
Model: The glass is for water.

El vaso es para agua.

Rule: to mean "in order to" or "for the purpose of"
Model: To make a paella, first saut� the meats.

Para hacer una paella, primero dore las carnes.

Rule: to indicate a recipient
Model: This gift is for you.

Este regalo es para ti.

Rule: to express a deadline or specific time
Model: I need the dress by Monday.

Necesito el vestido para el lunes.

Rule: to express a contrast from what is expected
Model: For a child, he reads very well.

Para un ni�o �l lee muy bien.

Rule: "estar + _________" to express an action that will soon be completed
Model: The girl (not "m/n") is about to give birth.

La chica est� para dar a luz.

Juan bought the gift for Maria.
(he bought it to give to her)

Juan compr� el regalo para Mar�a.

Juan bought the gift for Maria.
(he bought it because she could not)

Juan compr� el regalo por Mar�a.

Por" and "para" can also be used in questions.
"�Por qu�?" means "Why?" (for what reason)
"�Para qu�?" means "Why?" (for what purpose).


For what reason do you study Spanish?

?Por qu� estudias espa�ol?

Possible answer:
Because it's required.

Porque es un requisito.

For what purpose do you study Spanish?

?Para qu� estudias espa�ol?

Possible answer:
In order to become a* Spanish teacher/professor.

Para ser profesor de espa�ol.

Por" has many uses, and so it is the more problematic of the two.