What’s the deal with por vs. para? it is a common question from Spanish learners.

You are watching: What does para que mean in spanish

That provides sense, due to the fact that the difference between the native por and para is just one of Spanish’s more daunting aspects. But I’m right here to aid you understand it all.

Here’s a quick overview: most of the time, both por and para interpret to the word “for” in English. Yet para expresses a last goal, destination or purpose. Por conveys a movement or an exchange.

Don’t worry, fine go more into detail throughout the post.

And due to the fact that I’m all about language hacking, ok teach you straightforward hack to make the difference in between por and also para in emergency situations.

In fact, here’s what fine cover:

Table that contents

Por and also Para: The straightforward Rules

Let’s dive in!

Por vs. Para: Why There room Two Words because that “For” in Spanish

You can be thinking: Why walk the language need so plenty of rules simply to speak something that can be explained with one indigenous in English? If us can gain by in English just saying “for”, why carry out we need two separate words in Spanish?”

Before you begin thinking the Spanish is the “weird” language that the two, have an objective look in ~ the English indigenous “for”. Why execute we use just this one word come describe numerous different ideas?

Look in ~ these three sentences:

“I bought eggs for breakfast.”“I purchase eggs for €2.99.”“I to buy eggs for Harry.”

Try explaining come a college student of English why the heck we use the word “for” in all three of this sentences! the actually makes less sense to do it this means than come use different words for various contexts.

It seems favor Spanish has the appropriate idea!

Like any kind of “difficult” language feature, the usage of por and also para just takes a little bit of practice to obtain right.

Let’s destruction into just how you can learn the difference in between them.

A advantageous Por vs. Para Hack for best Now

Para has far fewer uses than por. This method you deserve to employ basic hack to gain you making use of these native in your Spanish conversations as conveniently as possible.

It’s simple: just learn the rules because that para, and then you can assume that any kind of scenario not extended by the para rules supplies por instead.

I’ll obtain to these rules in a moment. I just wanted to relief you first: it deserve to be rapid to reach a “good enough” stage in utilizing por and also para. Is this a perfect hack? Nope! yet it’s a rapid one!

It will obtain you out and using por and para, in ~ a pretty decent level, ideal now.

A much longer Term Por vs. Para Hack

Over time, you have to study every one of the usage rules of every word so the you have the right to fine-tune your skills and learn to use each word prefer a pro.

The best method to perform this, in my experience, is to produce a flash map deck.

Pick an application like Anki or Flashcards Deluxe. Make sure that it provides a spaced repetition mechanism to aid you learn much more quickly.

Next, gather as plenty of sentences together you can discover that use either por or para. The ones ns list later in this post are a great start, but don’t protect against there. The more examples you find, the quicker you’ll learn just how to use each indigenous naturally and without a 2nd thought.

Put the English sentence on one side of each card, and the Spanish translate into on the other. Once studying, interpret each sentence right into Spanish, out loud.

Trust me, after part days of consistent practice, you will do it be making use of por and also para prefer a native speaker.

Por and Para: The straightforward Rules

Now let’s acquire down come business.

What room the actual rule for making use of each word? rather of explaining all of the different consumption rules, ns going to start with part examples. They must make the rules much more clear as soon as I do explain them.

Take a look in ~ the following Spanish para sentences and their English translations. Don’t skim them; review each one, and also its translation, carefully.

When to use Para – Examples and Rules

Estoy estudiando biología para entrar a la escuela de medicina – “I’m researching biology to acquire into medical school.”Estoy aquí para hablar con Sam – “I’m here to talk to Sam.”Ellos construyeron el nuevo puente para aliviar la congestión del tráfico – “They built the brand-new bridge in order to reduce traffic congestion.”El autobús sale para Santiago en diez minutos – “The bus pipeline for Santiago in ten minutes.”Parto para Francia mañana. – “I depart for France tomorrow.”Programé una cita médica para el lunes – “I made a doctor’s meeting for Monday.”Por favor, ten el artículo listo para mañana – “Please have actually the short article ready because that tomorrow.”Tejí este suéter para mi madre – “I knitted this sweater for my mother.”Esta canción es para ti – “This track is because that you.”La música es demasiado ruidosa para mí – “The music is too loud because that me.”Hago ejercicio para mi salud – “I exercise for my health.”

Can you view a pattern in every one of these sentences? lock all have actually something in common.

The native para appears to convey the very same idea in every sentence, also though the paper definition is different. The definition that para conveys is the of a final goal, destination or purpose.

This could be a person (Tejí este suéter para mi madre), a attributed (Por favor, tener el artículo listo para mañana), or a result (Ellos construyeron el nuevo puente para aliviar la congestión del tráfico).

One much more thing: once you check out para adhered to by an prototype verb, para method “to” or “in stimulate to”.


Vine aquí para comer – “I came right here to eat.”Estoy leyendo el libro para mejorar mi español – “I’m reading the book in bespeak to boost my Spanish.”

This is just one of the most common uses the para, and you can clearly see how it conveys a feeling of purpose.

Quick exercise: in my 3 English “egg sentences” at the start of this article, i m sorry ones have actually the idea of a goal or purpose?

“I to buy eggs because that breakfast” – Compré los huevos para el desayuno.“I bought eggs for €2.99.”“I purchase eggs because that Harry.”

Look at the very first one. What was the objective of the eggs? To be my breakfast. So this sentence translates right into Spanish with the word para: Compré los huevos para el desayuno.

That’s really all there is to it for the word para.

Next time you chatting in Spanish and you’re not certain whether the sentence needs por or para, think back to the idea the a destination, goal or purpose. Is over there a solitary endpoint, or one objective, in the sentence?

If so, climate you have the right to be relatively confident that para is the appropriate choice.

When to use Por – Examples and Rules

Now inspect out these sentences that usage por:

He vivido en Colombia por cinco años. – “I stayed in Colombia for 5 years.”Veo la televisión por una hora todos los días. – “I clock TV for one hour every day.”Pasé el día caminando por las calles de mountain Francisco – “I invested the work walking through the streets of mountain Francisco.”Hoy solamente, puedes comprar dos pizzas por $ 10 – “Today only, you deserve to buy two pizzas for $10.”Lo hice por respeto – “I did it for respect, or “out the respect”.”Te pagaré el martes por una hamburguesa hoy – “I’ll pay you Tuesday because that a hamburger today.”Mi hermano estaba enfermo, así que cuidé a los niños por él – “My brothers was sick, so i babysat the youngsters for the (instead of him).”Me encanta el esperanto por su gramática sencilla – “I love Esperanto for its simple grammar.”El juego fue cancelado por la lluvia – “The video game was cancelled due to rain.”Alquilamos un lugar más grande por el número de personas – “We rented a bigger venue due to the fact that of the number of people.”No me gusta hablar por teléfono – “I don’t choose talking on the phone.”Estoy por la libertad de expresión – “I’m in favour that / ns am for free speech.”El cuadro fue pintado por Picasso – “The picture was painted through Picasso.”

What’s the sample here? Well, there are actually several, and some that them are a bit much more subtle 보다 the para pattern.

The key idea through por is the it’s supplied in sentences the convey the sense of motion. This “motion” could be a term of time, a motion through a physical place, or one exchange of some sort.

The first seven sentences over use por come convey this definition of motion.

(Note: some of my example sentences use por to describe a length of time. It is the instance with He vivido en Colombia por cinco años. This use of por is more common in Latin America 보다 in Spain. In europe Spanish it’s much more common to say He vivido en Colombia durante cinco años.)

Quick quiz. Stop go earlier to mine eggy sentence from previously in this post. Why carry out you think the 2nd sentence, “I to buy eggs for €2.99”, would use por?

In this case, the an interpretation conveyed is of one exchange. The eggs cost €2.99, so i paid €2.99 in exchange because that the eggs. This exchange is the “motion” referred to in the sentence.

This is the main usage of por, yet there are numerous other methods to use it:

to suggest a cause or factor for other — e.g. Me encanta el esperanto por su sencilla gramática (“I love Esperanto due to its simple grammar.”)to refer to a way or method of doing something — e.g. No me gusta hablar por teléfono (“I don’t like talking via phone.”)to express support for miscellaneous — e.g. Estoy por la libertad de expresión (“I am for complimentary speech.”)to say that performed an action in a passive building – e.g. El cuadro fue pintado por Picasso (“The snapshot was painted by Picasso.”)

This might be daunting to wrap your head about at first. As I stated before, por is more facility than para. Over there are certainly quite a few more offers for por than there room for para.

So make her life much easier by getting comfortable v para first.

Do part Sentences occupational With Both Por and also Para? – The situation of doing Something top top Someone’s Behalf

Look in ~ my 3 eggy sentence again.

“I bought eggs because that breakfast” – Compré los huevos para el desayuno.“I purchase eggs because that €2.99” – Compré los huevos por €2.99.“I purchase eggs for Harry.”

I quiet haven’t extended the third one: “I purchase eggs for Harry.” execute you think this must use por or para?

Arguably, this sentence conveys a sense of destination or purpose. Take care of receives the eggs, however I to buy the eggs and also gave them to Harry. So harry’s the goal, or destination, in the sentence.

In this case, the translation would be Compré los huevos para Harry.

But as soon as you think about it, the English sentence is ambiguous. Am i really walk to offer the egg to Harry? maybe Harry inquiry me come buy eggs and also give them to Susie.

In the case, ns still doing that “for” Harry; i’m buying them on his behalf. If this is the case, you’d usage por. Compré los huevos por Harry.

If this no clear, imagine just how Harry might phrase this request: “Please purchase eggs for Susie for me.” an alert how words “for” is supplied twice, but means something different each time.

In Spanish this sentence would be Por favor, compra huevos para Susie por mí.

Do you see? This shows just how the difference in between por and also para lets you convey more an interpretation in Spanish than with the English word “for”.

Why do we only have one indigenous in English again?


How to have actually Por or Para ~ above the guideline of your Tongue

However you select to go around learning these 2 words, don’t opt because that trying to memorize every the rules prior to using the native in actual life. It would be a waste of time.

That’d it is in a little bit like analysis a book around how come knit, and then sit down with your knit needles and expecting to finish up through a decent pair that socks. Not gonna happen!

It’s better to usage the words in ~ the very same time together you’re discovering the rules.

Make a flash map deck making use of the over sentences. Put both the por and also para sentences into one deck, to assist you practise the difference). Practise it often. Analyze the sentences out loud into Spanish. When you make a mistake, then go ago and inspect the rules.

By act this, you’ll construct an instinctive knowledge of once to use each word.

Online Quizzes to inspect Your Por vs. Para Progress

In enhancement to speed cards, over there are numerous online quizzes you have the right to practise with. Here are a few:

You’re on Your method to MasterPor and Para!

Finally, for a bit of fun, take a look at this perform of common Spanish expressions containing por and para, which you’ll hear a many in Spanish.

Por and also para in these expressions don’t necessarily follow the rules above. Don’t sweat over them too lot though! As long as girlfriend speak Spanish through real world on a continual basis, you’ll hear these expressions often sufficient that their consumption will shortly start to feel natural. You’ll have the ability to use them there is no a 2nd thought.

See more: How Can Bad Sportsmanship Be A Benefit To Others ? How Can Bad Sportsmanship Be A Benefit To Others

Wow, that was a chunky lesson! Take some time to let the sink in.

If you in the mood for something lighter, how around checking out part Spanish puns? Or probably the 101 core Spanish words?