HomeQ&ADo you use the word "por" or the word "para" when you say that something you are sending is "for Mama"?

Do you use the word "por" or the word "para" when you say that something you are sending is "for Mama"?

0
votes

Do I use the word "por" or "para" in giving a gift to or for someone (in Spanish)

3092 views
updated NOV 25, 2009
posted by vthieme

7 Answers

5
votes

When it comes to mastering the uses of POR and PARA in Spanish, there is a very simple, yet powerful approach that can help you in 95 to 98% of the cases and even more.

When do we use PARA?

  1. To express PURPOSE: Any time that in English you can use "in order to," in Spanish you must use PARA.

I work to make money (or.. in order to make money)

Trabajo PARA ganar dinero.

  1. To show who the recipient of an action is:

I bought these flowers for you.

Compré estas flores PARA tí.

  1. To show destination:

I am going to Spain.

Voy PARA España.

  1. When I want to say BY or FOR a SPECIFIC TIME.

I need your answer by Monday.

Necesito tu respuesta PARA el lunes.

These are all the instances when PARA is used. When do you use POR? In all the other cases. Just that! Any time you want to say something and doubt whether to say por or para, just go through this checklist mentally: a) IN ORDER TO b) RECIPIENT c) DESTINATION D) SPECIFIC TIME.

If what you want to express fits any of these possibilities, then the word to use is PARA. If it doesn´t, use POR.

Simple enough, right? I challenge you to try to find and do as many exercises on the Internet as possible and see for yourself how useful and accurate this approach is!

Enjoy!

updated NOV 25, 2009
posted by Seb79
2
votes

Here are some exapmles from my notebook based on the Reference Section here on SpanishDict.


Para and Por:

  • Mañana salgo para Madrid. (destination)
  • Caminaron por tres días. (length of time)
  • Voy al supermercado para comprar aguacates y lechuga. (purpose -in order to)
  • Corremos por el parque cada mañana. (movement)
  • Este regalo es para me hermana. (recipient)
  • Gracias por todo. (for the sake of/reason)
  • Trabaja para ganar denero. (purpose -in order to)
  • Gracias por la ayuda. (purpose -in order to)
  • Sé que querias prepararte para la fiesta. (destination)
  • Compré este cuadro por $1,000. (exchange for)
  • Viajé para Venezuela por avión. (destination/mode of transportation)
  • Esta cuadro es para mi madre. (recipient)
  • El tío Santiago me regaló 25 centavos, y tuvo que alzarme para que yo pudiera echar la monenda dentro. (purpose -in order to)
  • Mamá trajo a casa envoltorios de papel para las monedas de cinco, de diez y de veinticinco centavos. (purpose -in order to)
  • Esta es muy deliciosa para una salchicha barata. (comparison/standard)
  • El día libre de mamá, llevamos las monedas al banco y las cambiamos por billets de diez dólares. (exchange - for)
  • Por su amor de animales, es vegetariar. (reason/because of)
  • El día libre de mamá, llevamos las monedas al banco y las cambiamos por billets de diez dólares. (exchange - for)
  • Llamamos a tía Ida y a tío Santiago, quienes vinieron con su camioneta para ayudarnos a llevar el sillón a casa. (purpose -in order to)
  • Estuve en el baño de burbuja por treinta minutos. (length of time)
  • Ahora Abuelita se sienta en el sillón durante el día y habla con la gente que pasa por la calle. (by/on/through)
  • Los compré para asegurame que alguien cuidara de ellos. (purpose -in order to)
  • No la reconocí por un instante. (length of time)
  • Por mi sobrino, los brujos son poderosos. (emotion)
updated NOV 25, 2009
edited by Daniel
posted by Daniel
2
votes

It can be both depending what it is you are saying:

Voy a enviar un regalo para mi madre. --- I'm goung to snd a gift for my mother. (or to my mother)

Envio esto por mi madre porque está muy enferma. --- I'm doing this because of my mother...

updated NOV 25, 2009
posted by 0068e2f4
1
vote

Gracias por la ayuda. (purpose -in order to)

This exactly parallels your "Gracias por todo. (for the sake of/reason)" (and your gloss is misleading).

The "in order to" part is not helpful. The "por" is because you are talking about what motivated you (got you going) not the "goal" that you aimed for. One can, of course, say that "What motivated me was the goal that I was seeking". In such cases, I would suggest that "por" looks "backward" while "para" looks "forward".

Ultimately, the difficulty is that a distinction (por/para) is being made in Spanish that is not made (or has been lost) in English. As a result, there is no reasonable way to explain (using examples drawn from English) what is going on in Spanish.

Learning a new language is not, simply, a matter of acquiring new vocabulary that you can "plug into" familiar patterns is also involves different ways of looking at the world.

updated NOV 25, 2009
posted by samdie
Different ways of looking at the world is right, samdie! Like the traer/llevar thing on a recent thread. :) - Valerie, NOV 25, 2009
0
votes

Un truco más fácil es ésto.

"Para"----> destino, alguien

Ejemplo:

Esta camisa es para ti.

Mañana viajo para Miami.

La siguiente canción es para aquellos que sienten amor por la vida.

Por---> Propio, de pertenencia, origen

Ejemplo:

Por tí me casaré.

Esta carta es firmada por mí con tinta sangre del corazón.

Bueno esa es mi humilde opinión. Aunque la respuesta de seb79 está mejor detallada. smile

updated NOV 25, 2009
posted by EdiOswaldo
0
votes

It depends on the purpose of the gift.

updated NOV 25, 2009
posted by MikeCross
0
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Gracias por la ayuda.

The way I learned this one is that you are giving thanks in exchange for the help. So "por" makes sense.

updated NOV 25, 2009
posted by kattya
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