Por and para are still on our minds. We learnt about two uses of these prepositions some weeks ago: space and time. However, there are more questions to take into account. Today, we’ll go deeper and we’ll learn other uses of por and para in Spanish.

Por and Para: cause vs purpose

Por and para have their bigger difference when they mean these two concepts. The cause or reason can be introduced by por, followed, mainly, by a noun, but also by infinitives.

For example: Si he estudiado medicina ha sido por mi padre, por verlo feliz.

This person knows why he studied medicine, he or she knows that his father wants that and that’s the reason.

However, the purpose is a goal, and these clauses are introduced by para and infinitives, most of the times, but also by nouns.

For example: Si he estudiado medicina ha sido para tener un buen futuro, para mi familia.

So, my objective is the welfare of my family and myself.

Recipient or beneficiary

You might have learnt that we always use para to express the recipient or beneficiary of the action of the main verb. These is truth but not always.

If the recipient will get the action of the verb after the action itself, we use para.

For example: He comprado estas flores para mi novia.

Obviously, the beneficiary of those flowers will get them after they were bought.

On the other hand, if that person is the recipient of a feeling, attitude or mental state, we use por (that’s because he or she is the cause of that feeling).

For example: Estoy muy triste por mi novia; su padre murió ayer.

Opinions vs advises using por and para

Por and para can be used to express these two concepts. However, opinions are not the same to advises. An opinion is an information we give to somebody about our thoughts. However, an advise is an attempt to influence somebody.

We can use para to express opinions:

For example: Para mí, lo mejor para aprender español es estudiar con un profesor online.

Nevertheless, if you want to give an advice, you can use por. This expression means something like if I were you.

For example: Yo, por mí, estudiaría español con un profesor de manera online.

Exchange and prices

When we want to express a change, an object or person that is replaced, we use por.

For example: Estoy enfermo. ¿Puedes trabajar hoy por mí? / Esta camisa me queda grande. Quiero cambiarla por otra talla.

If we say the price of a product, we are actually expressing an exchange. I get the product and the seller gets the money. That’s why we use por, too.

For example: Ayer compré esa bicicleta por ochenta euros.

Minimizing and mocking

The last use of por and para we’re going to learn today is not very known. We can minimize, and even, mocking the meaning of the main clause using para. Of course, you should use this carefully.

For example: Para ser español, habla peor que mis estudiantes.

We minimize the importance of that person’s origin because he speaks Spanish very bad.

That’s all for today, but don’t think you know everything about por and para. If you want to put this into practice or learn more uses, don’t hesitate and reserve lessons on Spanishviaskype.com.