Spanish “Por” Vs. “Para” – Learn the Difference

Spanish Por Vs Para

Wellcome to our lesson about “Por” Vs. “Para” in Spanish.

The distinction between Spanish prepositions “Por” and “para” usually represents a challenge for Spanish learners, because of two reasons:

  • They look and sound similar, and sometimes their meaning is also similar.
  • Each one is used in different specific cases.

The purpose of this lesson is to explain the most frequent uses of both prepositions, providing example sentences.

At the end of the lesson, there is also a Quiz to practice “Por” Vs. “Para”.

1. Uses of “Por”

Expressing Causality (meaning “because of”)

Hoy no salgo por la lluvia.
I don’t go out today because of the rain.

Estoy aquí por ti.
I’m here because of you.

Expressing Path (meaning “through, along”)

Voy a pasear por la playa.
I’m going to walk along the beach.

Tienes que entrar por la puerta.
You have to enter through the door.

Expressing Exchange (meaning “in exchange for”)

Te cambio la pelota por el muñeco.
I give you the ball in exchange for the doll.

Other Phrases that include “Por”:

  • por favor = please
  • por supuesto = of course
  • por ciento = percent
  • por hora = per hour
  • gracias por = thanks for…
  • perdona por = sorry for…
  • lo siento por = sorry for…
  • por qué = why
  • por la mañana / tarde / noche = in the morning / afternoon / night

2. Uses of “Para”

Expressing Goal, Intention, Purpose (meaning “in order to”)

Aprendo español para viajar a Sudamérica.
I learn Spanish in order to travel to South America.

Para estar en forma, la clave es hacer ejercicio.
In order to stay fit, the key is to exercise.

Expressing Opinion (meaning “according to”)

Para mí, la amistad es lo más importante.
To me (“according to me”), friendship is the most important thing.

Para los españoles, el jamón ibérico es sagrado.
To Spaniards (“according to them”), Iberian ham is sacred.

Indicating the Recipient of an action (meaning “directed to”)

Esta carta es para ti.
This letter is for you (directed to you, you are the recipient).

Los caramelos son para los niños.
The candies are for the children (directed to them, they are the recipient).

Expressing Destination (meaning “towards”)

Vamos para Francia.
We are going “towards” France (France is the destination)

Other Phrases that include “Para”:

  • para siempre = forever
  • para que = so that
  • para qué = for what

3. Practice: A Quiz about “Por” Vs. “Para”

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about this topic: