Por vs. Para
Learning the differences between por and para is often quite challenging, and with good reason. In Spanish, both por and para take on the responsibilities of not only for, but also by, on, through, because of, in exchange for, in order to, and several other prepositions and phrases. Por suerte (luckily), we've got a whole series on this tricky pair, so get ready to master the differences between por and para!
Por is used to talk about movement, modes and means of travel and communication, exchanges, duration, and motivation, among other things. Let's take a closer look at some examples of these common uses of por.
1. Travel and Communication
Por can be used to talk about the way you travel or communicate. This can refer to mode of travel (car, train, etc.) or communication (email, phone, etc.) or even the route you take.
Por is used to talk about exchanges and trades.
Por is used to talk about the length of time an activity went on for.
Por is used to talk motivations or reasons for doing something.
Para is used to talk about destinations, recipients, deadlines, and goals. Check out the following examples of these common uses of para.
Para is used to talk about physical destinations, especially the endpoint of a trip.
Para is used to indicate the intended recipient of something, such as a gift.
Para is used to talk about deadlines, including dates and times.
Para is used to talk about goals and purposes. It's especially common to see para used with an infinitive to talk about why something is done.
There are also many expressions that are used with por and para. Some very common examples are shown in the table below.
|Por Phrase||English Translation||Para Phrase||English Translation|
|please||just for a change|
|of course||so that/in order that|
|percent||for what reason|