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Quick answer
"By" is a preposition which is often translated as "por", and "for" is a preposition which is often translated as "para". Learn more about the difference between "by" and "for" below.
by(
bay
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (indicating agent or cause)
a. por
The bridge was destroyed by the flood waters.El puente quedó destruido por las inundaciones.
The house was built by an architect.La casa fue construida por un arquitecto.
2. (indicating author or creator)
a. de
We're reading a book by Octavio Paz in Spanish class.Estamos leyendo un libro de Octavio Paz en la clase de español.
3. (indicating location)
a. junto a
The mayor built his house by the park.El alcalde construyó su casa junto al parque.
b. al lado de
I waited by the door until my name was called.Esperé al lado de la puerta hasta que me llamaron.
4. (indicating way or path)
a. por
The cowboy came by the old buffalo trail.El vaquero llegó por la vieja senda de los bisontes.
5. (indicating movement near)
a. por delante de
We drove by your house yesterday.Ayer pasamos por delante de tu casa.
6. (indicating short visit)
a. por
I’ll stop by the store and get some eggs.Pasaré por la tienda a comprar huevos.
7. (indicating final destination)
a. a
We’re going to go by my mom’s house for lunch on Saturday.Vamos a ir a la casa de mi mamá a comer el sábado.
8. (indicating time limit)
a. antes de
Since I wasn't home by 10, my dad will ground me.Como no llegué a casa antes de las 10, mi papá me va a castigar.
b. para
If the package hasn't arrived by Tuesday, we should contact the sender.Si no ha llegado el paquete para el martes, deberíamos contactar al remitente.
9. (indicating time span)
a. de
By day he's a tailor and by night he's a dancer.De día es sastre y de noche es bailarín.
10. (indicating means)
a. mediante
The energy produced by fusion is emitted as light.La energía producida mediante fusión se emite como luz.
b. por
The books are classified by subject.Los libros están clasificados por tema.
c. en (of transportation)
Would you rather go by car or by train?¿Preferirías ir en coche o en tren?
11. (according to)
a. según
It's noon by my watch.Es mediodía según mi reloj.
b. conforme a
By the new rules, there is no parking allowed near the fire station.Conforme a las nuevas normas, está prohibido estacionarse cerca de la estación de bomberos.
c. por
It's all right by me.Por mí no hay problema.
12. (mathematics)
a. por (multiplication)
Multiply three by twelve.Multiplica tres por doce.
b. entre (division)
Ten divided by five is two.Diez dividido entre cinco son dos.
13. (in compass directions)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The wind is blowing east by southeast.El viento sopla estesudeste.
We were sailing north by northwest.Navegábamos en dirección nornoroeste.
14. (in measurements)
a. por
The new deck will measure ten feet by eight feet.Le nueva plataforma tendrá una medida de diez pies por ocho.
15. (indicating rate or amount)
a. por
Are you paid by the hour or by the job?¿Te pagan por hora o por trabajo?
She broke the record by two seconds.Batió el récord por dos segundos.
b. en (with percentages)
The price has gone up by 50%.El precio ha subido en un 50%.
16. (with gerund)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
She ended by thanking everyone who had helped.Terminó dando las gracias a todos los que habían ayudado.
They lowered their prices a lot, and by doing so they expected to fill the store with customers.Bajaron muchísimo los precios, y con esto pretendían llenar la tienda de clientes.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
17. (nearby)
a. cerca
Is the police station close by?¿Está cerca la comisaría?
18. (past)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Our neighbor passed by without saying hello.Nuestro vecino pasó sin saludarnos.
You don’t own the street. Let me by!No eres dueño de la calle. ¡Déjame pasar!
19. (on a short visit)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I'll stop by later.Me paso más tarde por ahí.
Your dad came by today.Tu papá pasó por aquí hoy.
20. (on one side)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Can you keep the dress by for me? I’ll come back and pay for it later.¿Me puede apartar el vestido? Volveré luego a pagarlo.
I have a little money put by for emergencies.Tengo ahorrado un poco de dinero para emergencias.
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for(
fawr
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (intended for)
a. para
This rack is for carrying your boat.Esta parrilla es para transportar tu barco.
2. (used to indicate purpose)
a. para
He gave me a trip to Mexico for my birthday.Me regaló un viaje a México para mi cumpleaños.
3. (used to indicate destination)
a. para
She got on a plane for Santiago.Se embarcó en un avión para Santiago.
4. (considering)
a. para
The hotel was fine for what it cost.El hotel estaba bien para el precio.
5. (in exchange for)
a. por
I don't work for peanuts.No trabajo por una miseria.
6. (used to indicate duration)
a. durante
I worked there for two years.Trabajé allí durante dos años.
b. por
I've been waiting for 15 minutes.He estado esperando por 15 minutos.
7. (before)
a. para
This has to be done for Friday.Esto tiene que estar terminado para el viernes.
8. (in favor of)
a. a favor de
Not many people would be for raising taxes.No hay mucha gente que estaría a favor de subir los impuestos.
9. (used to indicate distance)
a. por
We walked for ten miles.Caminamos por diez millas.
10. (used to introduce an infinitive clause)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
A lot of problems had to be solved for the machine to work.Se tuvieron que resolver muchos problemas para que funcionara la máquina.
It was time for me to leave.Ya era hora de irme.
11. (representing)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The Y in YMCA stands for "young."La Y de YMCA es de "young".
What's French for "tree?"¿Cómo se dice "árbol" en francés?
12. (because of)
a. por
He's known for his bad temper.Es conocido por su mal humor.
13. (on behalf of)
a. para
He plays for Real Madrid.Juega para el Real Madrid.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Could you tell him for me?¿Podrías decírselo tú?
That's not for me to say.Yo no me meto en eso.
14. (in spite of)
a. a pesar de
For all the problems we faced, we finished the project on time.A pesar de todos los problemas a los que nos enfrentamos, acabamos el proyecto en el plazo previsto.
15. (on the occasion of)
a. para
We had fish for lunch.Comimos pescado para el almuerzo.
What are you doing for Christmas?¿Qué vas a hacer para Navidad?
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
16.
A word or phrase restricted in usage to literature or established writing (e.g. sex, once upon a time).
(literary)
(because)
a. puesto que
They were hungry, for there was nothing to eat.Estaban hambrientos, puesto que no había nada que comer.
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