Today in the morning I was listening to RNE and two men were talking about tourism in Spain.

And one of them said:

".... pues yo creo que somos buenos aunque todavía hay muchas cosas por hacer."

Well, honestly I'd say "...muchas cosas para hacer." And I think it's not incorrect either. Or is it? And if they have any difference could you tell me what it is?

After thinking a little bit I found something: like 50 cosas por hacer antes de morir but then I saw that somebody said it with para too. I'm lost! Thanks! smile

  • Posted Jan 19, 2011
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4 Answers



I might be wrong, but in "cosas para hacer" you generally refer to unlimited possibilities, since "para" refers to the future, and no one can predict the future:

En el campo hay muchas cosas para hacer (anything, whatever)

However, in "cosas por hacer", since "por" refers to the path and the reasons that point towards a future, we tend to interpret it as "cosas (que quedan) por hacer" (things that remain to be done), giving those things a present perspective, even if they are future plans. Now we are talking about specifics:

Hay muchas cosas por hacer en esta casa: limpiarla, arreglar el tejado,...

While "50 cosas para hacer" is not wrong and it can be said, it is much more natural to express it as a current list of future events than a predetermined destiny.

  • Yes, thanks, I've got it now. :) - culé Jan 19, 2011
  • Hay muchas cosas que hacer se usa más que para hacer... De hecho, nunca he escuchado esa frase - gone Jan 30, 2011


Tengo muchas cosas para hacer(algo). I have a lot of things I can do something with.

Tengo mucha harina para hacer pan (for example)

Queda mucho por hacer, hay mucho por hacer...there are still a lot of things do to.

  • Jan 19, 2011
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  • Ay ay gracias Heidi, entonces ¿dejo de ser tonta y no uso esa frase así? :) - culé Jan 19, 2011


Yo, como lo veo/se:

"Por" hacer significa que: entre/via esas cosas vas a hacer algo, la ruta

"Para" hacer significa que: el resultado de esas cosas es que hagas algo, la finalidad, el resultado


As I see it:

"Por" hacer means that using these things you are going to do/have something, the way/path

"Para" hacer means that the result of these things/actions is what you are going to do, the ending, the result

  • Jan 19, 2011
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  • Thanks Jorge :) - culé Jan 19, 2011


Hello Fellow Sdict Friends:

Mr, Obama was giving a press conference, and he said in English: Much remains to be done to strengthen the ties between our countries. I then read Mr. Obama's remarks in a Spanish newspaper.

Por + hacer or por hacer was used in place of: 'Much remains to be done"

Apologies for not being able to provide a link to the story.

  • Feb 28, 2012
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