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what does "para que" mean

  • Posted Jul 10, 2010
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3 Vote

Try the translation bar on top of the page, one word at a time.

Generally speaking, you're supposed to attempt an answer, then someone will help you out.

3 Vote

Fontanero is absolutely right. You can simply put the word "para" in a dictionary or Google and you'll get lots of examples on how to use "para que."

Here's an interesting article on the difference between "para que" and "por que."

Although both para qué and por qué in questions usually can be translated as "why," there is a subtle difference in meaning between them.

One way of thinking about the difference is that in por qué questions the speaker is seeking to know the cause of something, while para qué questions focus on the purpose or intention of something. There is an overlap, and it is often possible to substitute por qué for para qué, but not always the other way around. Whereas the question ¿por que? might be thought of as "Why?" the question ¿para qué? might be thought of as "What for?"

2 Vote

I certainly don't advocate being beligerant, but if you happen to be fed up with someone's foolish advice, for example, the beligerant way to ask "Why" would be, "¿Para qué?" rather than ¿Por qué?" Even the intonation is different and this really adds a lot of emotion to the phrase.

  • Could you say "¿Para que me hablas?" What are you talkigng to me for? - --Mariana-- Jul 10, 2010 flag
  • I agree, "what for" is a little more forceful than "why". - fontanero Jul 10, 2010 flag
  • Marianne, yes. This sends the message that there is no reason to be speaking to you (bothering you). - JulianChivi Jul 10, 2010 flag
  • Fontanero, right. - JulianChivi Jul 10, 2010 flag
  • Muy interesante. - sanlee Jul 10, 2010 flag
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