Por vs Para: Difference and Comparison

Around the World, thousands of languages are spoken and written. Every country, region, state, village, etc., is believed to have its language. Still, the entire country is connected by a single language considered its national or official language.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Por” and “para” are both Spanish prepositions, but they convey distinct meanings: “por” indicates cause, reason, or motive, while para suggests purpose, destination, or intended recipient.
  2. To express time, duration, or a specific period, use “por” rather than “para”; for instance, “trabajo por ocho horas” means “I work for eight hours.”
  3. In expressing goals or objectives, use para over por; for example, “estudiar para ser médico” translates to “studying to become a doctor.”

Por vs. Para

The term ‘por’ can be used to define an activity performed by someone. For example, this house was painted by my father. In Spanish, the word ‘por’ will be used in the place of ‘by’ in the above example. It can also be used to define a given duration. The term ‘para’ is used to highlight a purpose. A deadline can also be mentioned using this word.

Por vs Para

It talks about the work’s duration and progress or how long something would last. It also refers to the reason something happened behind any action performed. Let us consider an example for simple understanding 

In English – I am taking French lessons because of my job.

In Spanish – Estoy tomando lecciones de francés por mi trabajo

It also focuses on the future set deadlines and commitments and highlights the embarking journey and the final destination in the statement. Let’s look at the example given below – 

In English – I need to finish my homework by Wednesday.

In Spanish – Necesito terminar mi tarea para el miércoles

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPorPara
Goal It is used in the statement where any reason is given.It is used when any purpose is to be highlighted.
LocationIt is used when someone is said to be traveling.It is used when someone has reached their final destination.
TimeIt is used for a given duration.It is used for mentioning deadlines.
Used When It is used ‘by someone.’It is used ‘for someone.’
ActionIncompleteAbout to occur

What is Por?

As discussed earlier, where and when the term Por is used, let’s briefly review some of the examples so far. The time is used in referencing four significant fields – 

  • Travel and Communication – For this, Por is used to refer to how someone traveled and the way someone communicates. Traveling can be either way, bus, train, airplane, etc., or the mode of communication may also vary telephonic, letters, etc. Consider the example given below – 

In English – I contacted him by phone.

In Spanish – Lo contacté por teléfono

  • Exchanging – The term also refers to the trades and exchanges around. For example –

In English – I will give you 100 bucks for the purse.

In Spanish – Te daré 100 dólares por el bolso 

  • Duration – It refers to how long the task has been performed. Given below is an example – 

In English – I slept for 5 hours in the evening.

In Spanish – Dormí 5 horas por la noche

  • Motivation – It is used to refer to any reason behind the work done. Consider the following example –

In English – I wanted to learn German because it is essential for my job. 

In Spanish – Quería aprender alemán por que es importante para mi trabajo

por

What is Para?

As discussed above, the use of the term Para in the sentences. Given below are a brief description of the referred contexts and examples. Below are the four places where mainly the term Para is used – 

  • Goals – These refer to any purpose or intent for why the task is performed. For example – 
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In English – I exercise to stay fit.

In Spanish – Hago ejercicio para mantenerme en forma

  • Recipients – It is used to dignify anything received as a gesture, like a gift. Below is the given an example –  

In English – This gift is for Andrew.

In Spanish – Este regalo es para Andrew.

  • Destination – It talks about the final destination of someone. Consider the following example – 

In English – I leave for my home tomorrow.

In Spanish – Me marcho para mi casa mañana.

  • Deadlines – It signifies any date or time for work or task to be completed. Consider the example – 

In English – I need the reports to be completed by Thursday.

In Spanish – Necesito que los informes estén completos para el jueves.

para

Main Differences Between Por and Para

  1. Por is majorly used in the statement refereeing ‘by someone’ while Para is used in the statement referring to ‘for someone.’
  2. Por talks about any incomplete action or tasks, whereas Para talks about the actions that will happen. 

References

  1. http://www.mpsp.mp.br/portal/page/portal/documentacao_e_divulgacao/doc_biblioteca/bibli_servicos_produtos/bibli_boletim/bibli_bol_2006/RPro_n.246.08.PDF

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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22 thoughts on “Por vs Para: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This was not helpful. I had high expectations given the complex nature of the topic, but the article lacked depth and clarity.

    Reply
    • I have to disagree with you. I found the article to be extremely informative, and it helped me gain a much better understanding of por and para.

      Reply
  2. The phrases and examples provided for both por and para usage are very enlightening. I think this will greatly help anyone learning Spanish.

    Reply
    • I agree, the detailed examples are very beneficial for language learners in understanding when to use por and para.

      Reply
  3. I found the article to be thorough and well-written. The examples used in the article truly aid in the understanding of por and para usage.

    Reply
  4. The comparison table provided in the article is invaluable. It succinctly illustrates the differences between por and para, making it very easy to comprehend.

    Reply
  5. The use of examples to explain the difference between por and para is commendable. The article is a must-read for anyone looking to master these prepositions.

    Reply
  6. This article truly delves into the intricacies of por and para. I feel much more confident about using them correctly after reading this.

    Reply
  7. The article does an exceptional job of breaking down the disparities between por and para. The lucid comparisons truly facilitate understanding.

    Reply
    • I think the comparisons allowed for a comprehensive understanding of por and para. It’s certainly a significant resource for language learners.

      Reply
    • I agree, the comparisons were highly beneficial and helped in grasping the comprehensive differences between por and para.

      Reply
  8. Although the article is detailed, it appears somewhat verbose. It could be more succinct without losing any of its informational value.

    Reply
    • I see your point, but I quite liked the in-depth coverage of por and para. It really helped me understand the differences.

      Reply
    • I think the length was well-justified as it didn’t compromise on the detailed explanations and examples, which are imperative for such a topic.

      Reply
  9. This article is an excellent source of information on the differences between por and para. I appreciate the clear examples provided to clarify the distinctions.

    Reply

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