Shall I use "por" or "para"?... No more suffering.

Oh, yes... this is one of the most common doubts that Spanish students have... and we can understand you, dear pupils, if we think about the several rules that seem to control the use of these prepositions. However, I think there is an easier way to understand the difference between them:



Yes, graphics!... maybe too simple, maybe quite useful. When I studied latin, the best way to understand prepositions were not words, but movements and gestures. Let me explain my nice little drawings:




The important thing here is not the arrow, but the orange circle: destination, purpose, end use, orientation, addressee... all real or figurative; both in time and space. Look at these examples:


  • Voy para la escuela. (I am going to school)
  • ¡Para estar cansado, eres demasiado joven! (You are too young to be tired!)
  • La camisa está sucia, ya está para lavarse. (The shirt is dirty, it is in conditions to be washed)
  • Nevará para navidad. (It will snow by Christmas)
  • Salí para tomar aire fresco. (I came out to get some fresh air)
  • Esos son libros para niños. (Those are books for kids)
  • Estudia para doctor. (He studies to become a doctor)
  • El regalo es para nosotros. (The gift is for us)



We don´t even have a clear destination in the next graphics, do we? But we do have route, lenght, nearness, cause / agent, means/ way, substitution.

Manejé por el puente. (I drove across the bridge)
Caminamos por toda la ciudad. (We walked all over the city)

Viví en Turín por 6 meses. (I lived in Turin for 6 months)
La iglesia está por el hospital. (The church is near the hospital)
Regresará por el 15 de agosto. (He will return around august 15th)
Estoy por salir. (I am about to go out).

Cerrado por vacaciones. (Closed for vacations)
El pastel fue hecho por mí. (The cake was baked by me)

Lo mandaron por correo. (They send it by mail)
Tomaron sus derechos por la fuerza. (They took their rights by force)

Compramos los chocolates por $500. (We bought the chocolates for $500)
Cambia el coche por uno más grande. (Change the car for a bigger one)
¡No hables por mí! (Do not speak for me!)


So, think about the movement you need to express and choose between these prepositions. I hope this is clearer now! Leave your comments! 🙂



3 de abril de 2019
Profile Picture
27 US$
22,95 US$
USD/h

Alejandra Piña

security_checked
5.0
27 US$
22,95 US$
USD/h
Flag
Español
globe
México
time
3.982
Habla:
Español
Nativo
,
Italiano
C2
,
Inglés
C1
,
Latín
B2
,
Sueco
A2
,
Alemán
A1
Hello, I am Alejandra! :) I was born in Mexico City, I studied in Turin for some months, then I lived in Playa del Carmen for a couple of years and now I am living in Puebla. I have a bachelor´s and a master´s degree in Classics. I love learning languages because I think they are the road to embrace a whole new culture, a whole new word, in a really charming and pleasant way. I love teaching Spanish because sharing my language and culture allows me to understand and appreciate them deeper.... and I always have fun while doing it. ;) I worked as a research fellow for the Diccionario del Español de México. In 2007 I started teaching at universities subjects such as Latin, Italian, English, Literature, upper Spanish for Mexican students, Spanish writing, Spanish as a foreign language, etc. I have also been an online teacher for more than 7 years. No matter what your Spanish level is, I am able to help you. I base my teaching on the Common European Framework, I follow Instituto ...
Flag
Español
globe
México
time
3.982
Habla:
Español
Nativo
,
Italiano
C2
,
Inglés
C1
,
Latín
B2
,
Sueco
A2
,
Alemán
A1
Hello, I am Alejandra! :) I was born in Mexico City, I studied in Turin for some months, then I lived in Playa del Carmen for a couple of years and now I am living in Puebla. I have a bachelor´s and a master´s degree in Classics. I love learning languages because I think they are the road to embrace a whole new culture, a whole new word, in a really charming and pleasant way. I love teaching Spanish because sharing my language and culture allows me to understand and appreciate them deeper.... and I always have fun while doing it. ;) I worked as a research fellow for the Diccionario del Español de México. In 2007 I started teaching at universities subjects such as Latin, Italian, English, Literature, upper Spanish for Mexican students, Spanish writing, Spanish as a foreign language, etc. I have also been an online teacher for more than 7 years. No matter what your Spanish level is, I am able to help you. I base my teaching on the Common European Framework, I follow Instituto ...
Mi vida antes del Covid- 19 (IMPERFECTO) A-2
Profile Picture
Alejandra Santiago
7 de agosto de 2020
팔랑귀
Profile Picture
Abby H
7 de agosto de 2020
The Origins of popular English Idioms
Profile Picture
Jen Mc Monagle
7 de agosto de 2020