A Beginner’s Guide to Por vs Para [+30 Examples & Quiz]

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In this Spanish grammar lesson, you will learn about por vs para.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • por vs para
  • how por vs para are used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on por vs para
  • how you can practice with flashcards on por vs para
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn Spanish

By the end of the lesson, you will know all about por vs para!

Table of Contents

How to Use Por

Here are 3 important ways in which por is used in Spanish!

Use Por for Rough Indications of Locations

You can use por for rough indications of locations.

Here are some examples:

Hoy hemos volado por el este de Canadá.

Today we flew across the east of Canada.

¿Dónde están las oficinas de la empresa? – Están por las afueras.

Where are the company’s offices located? – They are (somewhere) on the periphery of the city.

¿Has visto al perro? No lo encuentro. – Lo ví hace un rato por el jardín.

Have you seen the dog? I can’t find him. – I saw him a while ago (somewhere) in the garden.

Even though it is not a precise location, you can get a sense of where these things have happened.

In many cases, you can swap por with en to express “in/on” somewhere.

The biggest difference between the two is that por expresses a rough indication of where something is, rather than a more precise one.

Hay muchos ciervos por el bosque.

There are many deer in the forest.

Hay muchos ciervos en el bosque.

There are many deer in the forest.

Use Por to Say Along/Through a Place

You can use por to say that you are going along a place.

Imagine walking/cycling along a road.

No deberías caminar por este camino.

You shouldn’t walk along this road.

You can also use por to say that you are going through a place.

Odio pasar por el centro para llegar a casa.

I hate going through the centre to get home.

Odio pasar por el centro de camino a la escuela.

I hate going through the centre on my way to school.

Use Por to Express Why Something Happend

You can use por to express why something happened.

Rompimos por culpa suya. Él me fue infiel.

We broke up because of him. He cheated on me.

Hay gente que se casa por dinero y no por amor.

Some people marry for money and not for love.

Nos mudamos a Valencia por el clima.

We moved to Valencia because of the climate.

Acepté este trabajo por mi padre. Sé que le hacía ilusión.

I took this job because of my father. I know he was looking forward to it.

How to Use Para

Here are 5 important ways in which para can be used in Spanish!

Use Para to Express Who You Work For

You can use para to express who you work for.

Here are some examples:

Laura es autónoma, trabaja para sí misma.

Laura is self-employed, she works for herself.

Trabajé durante un tiempo para una gran empresa australiana.

I worked for a while for a large Australian company.

Mi marido trabaja para una clínica veterinaria porque le encantan los animales.

My husband works for a veterinary clinic because he loves animals.

Use Para to Express for Whom Something is Done

You can use para to express for whom something is done.

He traído flores para tu madre.

I brought flowers for your mother.

Elisa cocinó una tarta para sus alumnos.

Elisa baked a cake for her students.

Por favor, compra comida para el perro.

Please buy food for the dog.

¿Este regalo es para mí?

Is this gift for me?

Use Para to Express an Opinion

You can use para to express an opinion.

Para mí, el gobierno lo está haciendo mal.

For me, the government is doing it wrong.

No importa cuánto tiempo pase, para tí siempre será como un hermano.

No matter how much time passes, he will always be like a brother to you.

Para mi jefe, todos los empleados somos unos vagos.

For my boss, all employees are lazy.

Use Para to Express a Destination

You can use para to express a destination.

Hace tiempo que no voy para el centro de la ciudad.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the city centre.

¿Vas para la casa de tus padres?

Off to your parents’ house?

No dejes esta caja aquí, va para la cocina.

Don’t leave this box here, it goes in the kitchen.

When you use para in this way, the use of the preposition a is also fine.

Necesito que lleves a los niños para el colegio.

I need you to take the children to school.

Necesito que lleves a los niños al colegio.

I need you to take the children to school.

Use Para to Express a Deadline

You can use para to express a deadline.

This is similar to how you would use “by” in English.

Necesito este vestido para mañana.

I need this dress for/by tomorrow.

Tienes que terminar el informe para el martes.

You have to finish the report by Tuesday.

Tenemos que comprar la tarta para esta tarde.

We have to buy the cake by this afternoon.

Example Sentences on Por vs Para

This section of the lesson on por vs para is about seeing the prepositions used in sentences.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding of por vs para through examples.

Hoy hemos volado por el este de Canadá.

Today we flew across the east of Canada.

¿Dónde están las oficinas de la empresa? – Están por las afueras.

Where are the company’s offices located? – They are (somewhere) on the periphery of the city.

¿Has visto al perro? No lo encuentro. – Lo ví hace un rato por el jardín.

Have you seen the dog? I can’t find him. – I saw him a while ago (somewhere) in the garden.

Hay muchos ciervos por el bosque.

There are many deer in the forest.

Hay muchos ciervos en el bosque.

There are many deer in the forest.

No deberías caminar por este camino.

You shouldn’t walk along this road.

Odio pasar por el centro para llegar a casa.

I hate going through the centre to get home.

Odio pasar por el centro de camino a la escuela.

I hate going through the centre on my way to school.

Rompimos por culpa suya. Él me fue infiel.

We broke up because of him. He cheated on me.

Hay gente que se casa por dinero y no por amor.

Some people marry for money and not for love.

Nos mudamos a Valencia por el clima.

We moved to Valencia because of the climate.

Acepté este trabajo por mi padre. Sé que le hacía ilusión.

I took this job because of my father. I know he was looking forward to it.

Laura es autónoma, trabaja para sí misma.

Laura is self-employed, she works for herself.

Trabajé durante un tiempo para una gran empresa australiana.

I worked for a while for a large Australian company.

Mi marido trabaja para una clínica veterinaria porque le encantan los animales.

My husband works for a veterinary clinic because he loves animals.

He traído flores para tu madre.

I brought flowers for your mother.

Elisa cocinó una tarta para sus alumnos.

Elisa baked a cake for her students.

Por favor, compra comida para el perro.

Please buy food for the dog.

¿Este regalo es para mí?

Is this gift for me?

Para mí, el gobierno lo está haciendo mal.

For me, the government is doing it wrong.

No importa cuánto tiempo pase, para tí siempre será como un hermano.

No matter how much time passes, he will always be like a brother to you.

Para mi jefe, todos los empleados somos unos vagos.

For my boss, all employees are lazy.

Hace tiempo que no voy para el centro de la ciudad.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the city centre.

¿Vas para la casa de tus padres?

Off to your parents’ house?

No dejes esta caja aquí, va para la cocina.

Don’t leave this box here, it goes in the kitchen.

Necesito que lleves a los niños para el colegio.

I need you to take the children to school.

Necesito que lleves a los niños al colegio.

I need you to take the children to school.

Necesito este vestido para mañana.

I need this dress for/by tomorrow.

Tienes que terminar el informe para el martes.

You have to finish the report by Tuesday.

Tenemos que comprar la tarta para esta tarde.

We have to buy the cake by this afternoon.

Quiz Yourself on Por vs Para

At the end of every lesson, you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want!

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our Spanish A2 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,568 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for Spanish A2.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

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