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)
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)
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.
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.).
A word or phrase restricted in usage to literature or established writing (e.g. sex, once upon a time).
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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unstressed fə(r)]
1. por (reason)
  • they chose him for his looks lo eligieron por su aspecto
  • she couldn't sleep for the pain no pudo dormir a causa del dolor
2. para (purpose, destination)
  • to leave for France salir hacia or para Francia
  • there's no time for that no hay tiempo para eso
  • it's for you es para ti
  • what's it for? ¿para qué es?
  • can you give me something for the pain? ¿me puede dar algo para el dolor?
3. (in exchange for)
  • I bought it for £10 lo compré por 10 libras
  • you get a lot for your money el dinero te da mucho de sí
4. para (with regard to)
  • he is big for his age es grande para su edad
  • as for him/that,… en cuanto a él/eso,…
  • they sell ten red bikes for every black one se venden diez bicicletas de color rojo por cada una de color negro
5. (representing)
  • A for Andrew A de Andrés
  • what's the Russian for “book”? ¿cómo se dice “libro” en ruso?
6. durante (duration)
  • I was there for a month pasé un mes allí
  • I've been here for a month llevo or tengo un mes aquí (Am)
  • I will be here for a month voy a pasar un mes aquí
  • I haven't been there for a month hace un mes que no voy (por allí)
  • we have enough food for two days tenemos comida suficiente para dos días
7. (point in time)
  • for the first/last time por primera/última vez
  • I need it for Friday lo necesito (para) el viernes
  • can you do it for next Monday? ¿lo puedes hacer para el lunes que viene?
8. (in favor of)
  • to be for something estar absolutamente a favor de algo
  • I'm all for it! (familiar) ¡estoy absolutamente a favor!
9. (introducing an infinitive clause)
  • it is too early for me to decide es demasiado pronto para decidirme
  • it will be difficult/easy for her to come lo va a tener difícil/fácil para venir
  • it took an hour for us to get there tardamos or demoramos una hora en llegar (Am)
10. (in phrases) (familiar)
  • he's for it! ¡se la va a cargar!, ¡se va a ligar una! (RP)
  • for all the good it will do! ¡para lo que va a servir!
  • for all his wealth, he was still unhappy a pesar de todo su dinero, no era feliz
  • that's men for you! ¡los hombres, ya se sabe!
11. dado que (Literary) (because)
Copyright © 2006 Harrap Publishers Limited
for [fɔːʳ]
When for is part of a phrasal verb, eg look for, make for, stand for, look up the verb. When it is part of a set combination, eg as for, a gift for, for sale, eager for, look up the other word.
1 (going to) para
the train for London el tren para or de Londres; he left for Rome salió para Roma; the ship left for Vigo el buque partió (con) rumbo a Vigo; he swam for the shore fue nadando hacia la playa
2 (intended for) para
a table for two una mesa para dos; a cupboard for toys un armario para los juguetes; a cloth for polishing silver un paño para sacarle brillo a la plata; it's not for cutting wood no sirve para cortar madera; there's a letter for you hay una carta para ti; is this for me? ¿es para mí esto?; I have news for you tengo que darte una noticia; hats for women sombreros de señora; clothes for children ropa infantil; I decided that it was the job for me decidí que era el puesto que me convenía; she decided that hang-gliding was not for her decidió que el vuelo con ala delta no era lo suyo
a present for me
3 (to express purpose) para
he went there for a rest fue allí para descansar; we went to Tossa for our holidays fuimos a pasar las vacaciones a Tossa; fuimos a Tossa para las vacaciones
what for? ¿para qué?
what's it for? ¿para qué es or sirve?; what do you want it for? ¿para qué lo quieres?; what did you do that for? ¿por qué hiciste eso?
What did he do that for?
4 (employment) para
he works for the government trabaja para el gobierno; to write for the papers escribir para los periódicos
5 (on behalf of)
I'll ask him for you se lo preguntaré de tu parte; I'll go for you iré yo en tu lugar; "I can't iron this shirt" — "don't worry, I'll iron it for you" —no puedo planchar esta camisa —no te preocupes, yo te la plancho; "I still haven't booked the ticket" — "I'll do it for you" —no he reservado el billete todavía —ya lo haré yo; who is the representative for your group? ¿quién es el representante de vuestro grupo?
"I haven't had time to call her" - "I'll call her for you"
6 (as in) de
G for George G de Gerona
M for Madrid
7 (in exchange for) por
I'll give you this book for that one te cambio este libro por ese; he'll do it for £25 lo hará por 25 libras; for every one who voted yes, 50 voted no por cada persona que votó a favor, 50 votaron en contra
to pay 50 pence for a ticket pagar 50 peniques por una entrada
pound for pound, it's cheaper es más económico de libra en libra
the government will match each donation pound for pound el gobierno igualará cada donativo, libra a libra
I sold it for £5 lo vendí por or en 5 libras
I'll give you this for that
8 (to the value of)
a cheque for £500 un cheque or talón por valor de 500 libras; how much is the cheque for? ¿por cuánto es el cheque?
9 (after adjective) (making comparisons) para
he's tall/mature for his age es alto/maduro para su edad or para la edad que tiene; he's nice for a policeman para policía es muy simpático; it's cold for July para ser julio hace frío; it's quite good for a six-year-old está bastante bien para un niño de seis años
it was too difficult for her era demasiado difícil para ella; le era demasiado difícil; it was difficult for him to leave her le resultó difícil dejarla; that's easy for you to say para ti es fácil decirlo; a ti te es fácil decirlo; they made it very easy for us nos lo pusieron muy fácil
10 (in favour of) a favor de
I'm for the government yo estoy a favor del gobierno; I'm for helping him yo estoy a favor de ayudarle; anyone for a game of cards? ¿alguien se apunta a una partida de cartas?
are you for or against the idea? ¿estás a favor o en contra de la idea?
are you for or against us? ¿estás con nosotros o en contra?
I'm all for it estoy completamente a favor
he's for changing the date I'm not for postponing it again
the campaign for human rights la campaña pro derechos humanos; la campaña en pro de los derechos humanos
a collection for the poor una colecta a beneficio de los pobres
11 (as, by way of)
what's for dinner? ¿qué hay para cenar?; I had a sandwich for lunch para almorzar me comí un bocadillo
12 (because of) por
it's famous for its cathedral es famosa por su catedral; if it weren't for you si no fuera por ti; he was sent to prison for fraud lo mandaron a la cárcel por fraude
to go to prison for theft
she felt better for losing a bit of weight se sentía mejor por haber adelgazado un poco; I couldn't see her for pot plants no la veía por taparla las plantas; we chose it for its climate lo escogimos por el clima
to choose sb for his ability
for fear of being criticized por miedo a la crítica; por temor a ser criticado
for fear of being left behind
to shout for joy gritar de alegría
13 (in spite of) a pesar de
for all his wealth a pesar de su riqueza
he still died of cancer, for all his wealth
for all that a pesar de todo
for all that, you should have warned me
for all he promised to come, he didn't a pesar de habérmelo prometido, no vino
14 (in expressions of time)
14 (future/past duration)
When translating [for] and a period of time, it is often unnecessary to translate [for], as in the examples below where [durante] is optional:
When referring to periods of time, use durante to refer to the future and completed actions in the past. Note that it can often be omitted, as in the next two examples.
she will be away for a month estará fuera un mes; he worked in Spain for two years trabajó dos años en España; I'm going for three weeks me voy tres semanas; estaré allí tres semanas
Alternatively, translate [for] using [durante], or, especially when talking about very short periods, [por]. Use [por] also with the verb [ir], although again it is often optional in this case:
they waited for over two hours estuvieron esperando durante más de dos horas; for a moment, he didn't know what to say por un momento, no supo qué decir; I'm going to the country for a while me voy al campo (por) una temporada; I'm going away for a few days me voy (por) unos cuantos días
he was away for 2 years
he won't be back for a couple of hours/days no regresará hasta dentro de un par de horas/días; tardará un par de horas/días en regresar
he won't be back for a while
we went to the seaside for the day fuimos a pasar el día en la playa
I'm travelling around Europe for a month this summer para can also be used sometimes, or por, particularly when the period of time is approximate he's going there for six months
14 (with English perfect tenses)
Use [hace ... que] and the present to describe actions and states that started in the past and are still going on. Alternatively use the present and [desde hace]. Another option is sometimes [llevar] and the gerund. Don't use the present perfect in Spanish to translate phrases like these, unless they are in the negative.
he has been learning French for two years hace dos años que estudia francés; estudia francés desde hace dos años; lleva dos años estudiando francés; it has not rained for 3 weeks hace 3 semanas que no llueve; no llueve or no ha llovido desde hace 3 semanas; lleva 3 semanas sin llover; I have known her for years hace años que la conozco; la conozco desde hace años; I haven't seen her for two years hace dos años que no la veo; no la he visto desde hace dos años; no la veo desde hace dos años; llevo dos años sin verla
she's been learning German for four years
Notice how the tenses change when talking about something that [had] happened or [had been] happening [for] a time:
he had been learning French for two years hacía dos años que estudiaba francés; estudiaba francés desde hacía dos años; llevaba dos años estudiando francés; I hadn't seen her for two years hacía dos años que no la veía; no la había visto desde hacía dos años; no la veía desde hacía dos años; llevaba dos años sin verla
she had been learning German for four years
15 (by, before) para
can you do it for tomorrow? ¿lo puedes hacer para mañana?; when does he want it for? ¿para cuándo lo quiere?
16 (on the occasion of) para
I'll be home for Christmas estaré en casa para las Navidades
I'll be back for the wedding
he asked his daughter what she would like for her birthday le preguntó a su hija qué le gustaría para su cumpleaños
17 (for a distance of)
there were roadworks for five miles había obras a lo largo de cinco millas; we walked for two kilometres caminamos dos kilómetros; you can see for miles from the top of the hill desde lo alto de la colina se puede ver hasta muy lejos
we ran for miles there was nothing to be seen for miles
18 (with infinitive clauses)
for this to be possible ... para que esto sea posible ...; it's not for me to tell him what to do yo no soy quien para decirle or no me corresponde a mí decirle lo que tiene que hacer
it's not for me to say it's not for me to decide
it's not for you to blame him tú no eres quien para culparle; he brought it for us to see lo trajo para que lo viéramos; their one hope is for him to return su única esperanza es que regrese
it's bad for you to smoke so much te perjudica fumar tanto
it's best for you to go es mejor que te vayas
there is still time for you to do it todavía tienes tiempo para hacerlo
19 (in other expressions)
what's the German for "hill"? ¿cómo se dice "colina" en alemán?; oh for a cup of tea! ¡lo que daría por una taza de té!
you're for it! ¡las vas a pagar! (informal)
I'll be for it if he catches me here! ¡me la voy a cargar si me pilla aquí! (informal)
there's nothing for it but to jump no hay más remedio que tirarse
pues; puesto que
she avoided him, for he was rude and uncouth lo eludía puesto que or pues era grosero y ordinario
he had a great desire to have a home of his own for he had always lived with my grandmother
Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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