Por and Para.
If ever there were two Spanish prepositions that cause Spanish students frustration, then you can count on them being POR and PARA.
So, what exactly is the issue with these two words?
Is it that they both can mean FOR in English? Maybe it is.
Thanks for… which one is it?
Perhaps it´s because they not only can mean FOR but have other, multiple meanings.
As a student myself, I recall feeling a tremendous frustration whenever I studied these prepositions. The main trouble was having to wade through the endless lists of rules and regulations that surrounded POR and PARA . Then, only to find that after I had read them, that I felt even more confused.
Have you had the same experience?
It’s likely that you have.
With everyone’s sanity in mind, I decided to create a short video lesson for El Aula that peels back the layers of rules and regulations on Por and Para to the very basics.
So basic are the new rules that you will learn that you will only need to remember TWO SYMBOLS to be able to get Por and Para right 90% of the time. Now, that’s a pretty good hit rate.
I recall trying to learn lists of rules and I still seemed to miss MORE than half of the time, which, given the fact that I had a 50/50 chance of getting it right or wrong was a pretty rubbish result.
No te preocupes.
Don’t worry! Take these two symbols to heart and most of your Por and Para problems will disappear forever.
Of course, I’m not saying that with my system you will always get it right, but nine out of ten isn’t bad at all.
One addition to the video is saying thank you in Spanish.
Always, and you can take this to the bank, you will use POR when you say “Thank you“.
Gracias por el regalo. = Thanks for the present.
Gracias por haber pensado en mí. = Thanks for having thought about me.
The reason you use POR is precisely for that reason. POR is used when you want to give a REASON for your own or another’s action.
Thank you FOR (and this is why I am thanking you) the present.
Finally, when you want to say that you are working for a specific company you are going to use…PARA.
Why? Once you have watched the video you’ll understand this better, but the best way to think about it is that the company you work for RECEIVES your work and efforts. They get it, and so it’s PARA.
Buena suerte con todo esto. Remember, the simpler the better.