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Quick answer
"Esperar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to wait for", and "por" is a preposition which is often translated as "by". Learn more about the difference between "esperar" and "por" below.
esperar(
ehs
-
peh
-
rahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to await)
a. to wait for
Espérame que yo también voy.Wait for me, I'm coming too.
2. (to wish)
a. to hope
Espero saber de ti pronto.I hope to hear from you soon.
3. (to count on)
a. to expect
No espero compasión si me capturan.I don't expect any mercy if captured.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
4. (to await)
a. to wait
Espera que ya vengo.Wait, I'm coming.
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
5. (to count on)
a. to expect
Se esperan cortes en el suministro de agua esta noche.Water supply disruptions are expected tonight.
esperarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
6. (to wait momentarily)
a. to hold on (emphatic)
Espérate, ¿no se suponía que ibas a estar fuera un par de semanas?Hold on, weren't you supposed to be gone for a couple of weeks?
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por(
pohr
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (used to indicate place)
a. by
Pásate por mi casa si quieres.Come by my house if you want.
2. (used to indicate cause)
a. because of
Se retiró por problemas personales.She resigned because of personal issues.
3. (used to indicate a period of time)
a. for
Estaré en Madrid por Navidad.I will be in Madrid for Christmas.
4. (used to indicate mode)
a. by
Puedes seguir tu paquete por correo electrónico.You can track your parcel by e-mail.
5. (by way of)
a. through
El hilo pasa por la aguja.The thread passes through the needle.
6. (used to indicate aim)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
¿Has ido a por tu hijo a la escuela?Have you picked up your son from school?
Habrá que ir a por leche cuando lleguemos.We'll need to go out for milk when we get there.
7. (mathematics)
a. times
Tres por tres son nueve.Three times three is nine.
8. (for each)
a. per
Mi tarifa es 50 dólares por artículo.My rate is 50 dollars per article.
9. (in exchanges)
a. for
Te doy quince pesos por la cobija.I'll give you fifteen pesos for the blanket.
10. (in place of)
a. for
Yo terminaré el trabajo por ti cuando estés de vacaciones.I'll finish the job for you while you're on vacation.
11. (used to denote future action)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Está por verse.That remains to be seen.
El asunto está por resolverse.The issue is yet to be resolved.
b. about to
Mi papá está por llegar.My dad's about to arrive.
12. (used to indicate the agent in the passive)
a. by
¿Ese cuadro fue pintado por Elena o Rosa?Was that painting done by Elena or Rosa?
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