para or por

para or por


does anyone have an explanation of when you would use para instead of por

updated NOV 21, 2011
posted by duggansp

3 Answers


Take a look at the grammar section:


There is a lot of useful information here.

updated AGO 11, 2009
edited by Nathaniel
posted by tom5

A suggestion when studying Por and Para:

learn Spanish examples that contrast the use of por or para. Don't try learning the English reasons for using them.

For instance, I have some rules that say:

para is used for a goal, purpose. Por is used for a reason, because of.

I am studying to become a doctor?

Is that my purpose or reason for studying? reason and purpose are too close together in English meaning if you don't have context to know which is which here. Sometimes rules say that por is used for motive, para for purpose...again, too close in meaning in English to be helpful.

If you remember a Spanish sentence for its use, however, it is more obvious.

Estudio para hacerse médico. (goal, purpose)

La ciudad es famoso por su clima. (because of , reason [why])

Now the contrast between purpose ( goal) and reason (motive) are more clear.

updated AGO 11, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
Para hacerme*... La ciudad es famosa* - Nick-Cortina, AGO 11, 2009
Good post, good advice, Q. Yes, Nick is right. It is either "Estudio para hacerme ..." or "Estudió para hacerse ...," and "ciudad" is feminine. - hhmdirocco, AGO 11, 2009

Para - Estudio el español para (in order to) hablar, Este regalo es para (for someone) mi ti ..., Salgo para (destination) Miami

Por - por cinco horas (used with numbers), by, caminé por (through) el parque and many expressions como por lo visto (apparently) ...

updated NOV 21, 2011
posted by MiamiDave
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