Algo de español Para usted, escrito Por mí!  Another area of Spanish that we must contend with to improve our skills is the use of Para and Por.   I debated on weather to even write about these two prepositions because there are so many situations when one or the other is used.  But since Para and Por are used so often, it is worth at least a general discussion.  The good news is that there are some simple to remember situations when to use Para or Por.   Let’s focus on these.  First,  Para in this article and Por next time.

Use Para when you want to say something is going somewhere with a final destination: 

I have a gift for you. – Tengo un regalo para usted.  (The gift is going no further than you.)
The soap is for the bathroom. – El jabón es para el baño.  (The soap has a final destination, the bathroom.)
They have money for shopping. – Tienen dinero para ir de compras.  (The money is for shopping.)

Use Para when you want to indicate a purpose of something:

These shoes are for walking. – Estos zapatos son para caminar. 
A car is for driving. – Un carro es para manajar.

Use para when you are saying “in order to”:
We study in order to learn Spanish. – Estudiamos para aprender Español.
I’m going to the gym in order to exercise. – Voy al gimnasio para hacer ejercisio.

Para is also used to indicate a deadline:

I need to arrive at the party by 5pm. – Necesito llegar a la fiesta para las cinco de la tarde.
We have to do this by tonight. – Tenemos que hacer esto para esta noche.

Also, Para is used to compare or indicate a standard:

John is tall for his age. – Juan es alto para su edad.
It is bad weather for January in Panamá. – Hace mal tiempo para enero in Panamá

If you want to state your opinion or the opinion of another, use Para:

In my opinion, it is warm for January. – Para mí, hace calor para enero.
In Barbra’s opinion, Panamá is the best country to (in order to) live.  Para Barbara, Panamá es el mejor país para vivir.

Remember there are many more situations on when to use Para.  But remembering  situations similar to the above examples will take you along way. 

Next time we will look at some of the simple uses of Por.

Hope this helps!


Hi, my name is Fred.  My background in Spanish is a year in high school
(long ago) and the last five years taking private lessons almost daily, in
the States and in Panamá'.    I am not yet fluent, but maybe I can pass on
to you some tips to help your Spanish learning experience.