Quick answer
"For" is a preposition which is often translated as "para", and "on" is a preposition which is often translated as "en". Learn more about the difference between "for" and "on" below.
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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on(
an
)
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 position)
a. en
There is a great photo on the front page.Hay una foto estupenda en la portada.
b. sobre
Placing hot pans on the countertop is not recommended.No es recomendable poner ollas calientes sobre la encimera.
c. encima de
Where are my glasses? - I left them on the table.¿Dónde están mis lentes? - Las dejé encima de la mesa.
2. (used to indicate place)
a. en
The village is on the border.El pueblo está en la frontera.
3. (used to indicate time, date or day)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Our anniversary is on Saturday.Nuestro aniversario es el sábado.
Where were you on the morning of September 30th?¿Dónde estabas la mañana del 30 de septiembre?
4. (used to indicate a completed action; used with gerund)
a. al
On arriving home, her husband told her the bad news.Al llegar a casa, su marido le contó la mala noticia.
b. tras
On finishing her studies, she went traveling in Europe.Tras finalizar sus estudios, se fue a viajar por Europa.
5. (used to indicate the subject)
a. sobre
Today, you have the chance to have your say on the matter.Hoy tiene la oportunidad de dar su opinión sobre el tema.
b. acerca de
He wrote a controversial book on Mexican politics.Escribió un controvertido libro acerca de la política mexicana.
6. (used to indicate the use of drugs or medication)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Are you on any medication?¿Toma algún medicamento?
The driver was a young kid on drugs.El conductor era un chico que iba drogado.
7. (used to indicate activity or treatment)
a. de (trip, tour or vacation)
The band will be on tour until December.El grupo estará de gira hasta diciembre.
b. a (diet)
I need to go on a diet and lose weight.Tengo que ponerme a dieta y bajar peso.
8. (used to indicate source)
a. de
Some sharks feed on plankton.Algunos tiburones se alimentan de plancton.
9. (used to indicate membership or inclusion)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
a. en
He's on the Olympic swimming team.Está en el equipo olímpico de natación.
10. (telecommunications)
a. en (the Internet)
I spent hours on the Internet looking for information for my paper.Pasé horas en Internet buscando de información para mi trabajo.
b. a (the phone)
I have to talk with my boss, but he's on the phone at the moment.Tengo que hablar con mi jefe pero está al teléfono ahora mismo.
11. (radio or TV)
a. en
Your favorite show is on TV tonight.Esta noche ponen tu programa favorito en la tele.
12. (transport)
a. en (in a bus, train or airplane)
I always get sick on the bus.Siempre me mareo en el autobús.
b. a (into a bus, train or airplane)
We got on the plane at six, but we only took off half an hour later.Subimos al avión a las seis pero tardamos media hora en despegar.
13. (music)
a. a
Playing on keyboards, Dave! A big round of applause for him!¡Al teclado, Dave! ¡Un fuerte aplauso para él!
14. (according to)
a. según
The order will be delivered based on your instructions.Se entregará el pedido según sus instrucciones.
b. de acuerdo con
He was acting on your advice.Él obraba de acuerdo con tus consejos.
15. (about one's person)
a. encima
Since she got robbed in the street, she doesn't like to have money on her.Desde que la atracaron en la calle, no le gusta llevar dinero encima.
b. consigo
He had no guns on him.No llevaba armas consigo.
16. (used to indicate who pays)
a. por cuenta de
The dinner is on my father, and I will buy the cinema tickets.La cena va por cuenta de mi padre y yo pago las entradas para el cine.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
17. (in place)
a. puesto
You can leave the tablecloth on.Puedes dejar el mantel puesto.
18. (with clothing)
a. puesto
You can leave your hat on.Puedes dejarte el sombrero puesto.
19. (used to indicate time or place ahead)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
From next year on, I will be pursuing my real dream.A partir del año que viene, perseguiré mi verdadero sueño.
There's a gas station a couple of miles further on.Hay una gasolinera un par de millas más adelante.
20. (used to indicate continuation)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Dream on; nothing is impossible!¡Sigue soñando, que nada es imposible!
She went on and on about how smart her kids were.No paraba de hablar de lo inteligentes que eran sus hijos.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
21. (in operation)
a. encendido
If the lights are on, the store's open.Si las luces están encendidas, la tienda está abierta.
b. prendido
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
While the oven is on, I'll bake this cake.Como está prendido el horno, hornearé esta torta.
22. (occurring)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The race is on to find the missing ship.Ya empezó la carrera para encontrar el barco desaparecido.
This event is still on, despite the rain!¡El evento sigue en pie a pesar de la lluvia!
23. (radio, TV, theater or cinema)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Is there anything good on at the movies?¿Están dando algo bueno en el cine?
Your favorite song is on right now.Está sonando tu canción favorita ahora mismo.
24. (on duty)
a. de turno
Who’s on this weekend?¿Quién está de turno este fin de semana?
25. (used to indicate agreement)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I bet you $20 she doesn’t turn up. - You’re on!Te apuesto $10 a que no viene. - ¡Trato hecho!
I'll buy you dinner if you ask her out. - OK, you're on.Te invito a cenar si le pides que salga contigo - Vale.
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