Quick answer
"Work at" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "trabajar en", and "work for" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "trabajar para". Learn more about the difference between "work at" and "work for" below.
work at
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to work in a place)
a. trabajar en
Ana works at a supermarket.Ana trabaja en un supermercado.
2. (to put work into)
a. trabajar en
I've been working at the design for this company's logo all day.Llevo todo el día trabajando en el diseño del logo para una empresa.
3. (to strive for)
a. poner empeño en
With the help of her therapist, Rachel has been working at controlling her anger issues.Con la ayuda de su terapeuta, Rachel ha estado poniendo empeño en controlar sus problemas con la rabia.
b. practicar
Daniel still needs to work at the sonata more before the audition.Daniel todavía tiene que practicar la sonata más antes de la audición.
c. darle duro
If you keep working at it, you'll be a great gymnast.Si le sigues dando duro, serás un gran gimnasta.
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work for
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to be employed by)
a. trabajar para
My dream is to work for a company that allows me to travel.Mi sueño es trabajar para una empresa que me permita viajar.
2. (to be suitable)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I want to lose weight. - Try walking to work every day. It worked for me.Quiero perder peso. - Prueba ir caminando al trabajo todos los días. A mí me funcionó.
Should we meet at 8 pm? - Yes, that works for me.¿Nos juntamos a las 8 pm? - Sí, me queda bien.
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