HomeQ&ATell me why this is different.

Tell me why this is different.


I bought the tomatoes for Anita- "compre los tomates a Anita"

This cake is for my mother- "Este pastel es para mi madre"

Ok, my question is, why do i use "a" for the word "for" in the first sentence, but not in the second. they are both saying you are doing something for someone, so why use two different prepositional words? Why am i using "para" in the second sentence. they both are telling who the recipient is.

updated ENE 12, 2010
posted by pepsiwriter37

3 Answers


The reason they are different, pepsi, is because your English sentences are off.

Compré los tomates a Anita. means "I bought the tomatos from Anita."

And that's just the way the 'comprar' verb works. "Comprar algo a alguien" is "To buy something from someone."

To say "I bought the tomatos for Anita" then you were right. It should be 'para'. smile

updated ENE 12, 2010
posted by chaparrito
Looks like we were answering at the same time. You get my vote. - 00e657d4, ENE 12, 2010

" (Le) compré los tomates a Anita" means I bought the tomatoes from Anita.

In your first phrase you have to use "para" also to mean what you are saying in English.

"compré los tomates para Anita"

updated ENE 12, 2010
posted by 00e657d4
Jinx! ;-) - chaparrito, ENE 12, 2010

In the first sentence, I would have used para in place of a.

updated ENE 12, 2010
posted by luhzon89
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