The difference between “por” and “para”

The difference between the Spanish prepositions “por” and “para” can be explained in two sentences. “Por” is used to express the cause or the reason. “Para” is used to express a purpose or an objective.

But as simple as it sounds, no one explained it better than our darling guru Maider in her last lesson. In case you already need to refresh your memory, here it is:

Uses of por:


  • cause.

e.g.: Venimos a España por mi familia.  We came to Spain because of my family.

Llego tarde por el tráfico. I’m late because of (due to) the  traffic.

  • frequency.

e.g: Voy a clase 3 veces por semana. I go to class 3 times per week.

  • area/ place.

e.g.: Este Verano, pasé por Salamanca. This Summer, I was (went through) Salamanca.

Andamos por el jardín. We walked through the garden.

  • time.

e.g.: Estudio mejor por la noche. I study better at night.

Tengo clases por la mañana. I have classes during the mornings.

  • means of communication.

e.g.: He hablado con ella por teléfono. I spoke with her by phone.  


Uses of para:


  • objective.

e.g: Estudio para hablar mejor. I study to speak better.

  • recipient.

e.g: Este libro es para ti. This book is for you.

  • direction.

e.g: Nosotros vamos para Madrid. We are going to Madrid.

  • purpose.

e.g.: El libro es para estudiar. The book is for studying.

Este móvil es sólo para trabajar. This cell phone is only for working.

  • deadline.

e.g.: Este trabajo es para el martes. This work is for Tuesday.

Tengo que terminar este trabajo para el martes. I need to finish this  work by Tuesday.

It's not so hard after all, is it? Leave us a comment in the section below if you still have any doubts! And remember to subscribe to our blog and Youtube channel to learn more Spanish language tricks.


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