The uses of Por vs. Para in Spanish


This brief overview will illustrate the POR vs. PARA rules so you can quickly learn Spanish grammar. The following are some powerful approaches that will help you remember when to use Para vs. Por at the intermediate to advanced Spanish level.  Feel free to stop by our internet Spanish grammar lessons page for more information on ways to improve your Spanish grammar.


Let’s first take a look at when to use the verb form Para:

1. First of all, you can use this term to express purpose using the following sentence structure:in order to

Here are a couple examples…


I work (in order) to make money

Trabajo PARA ganar dinero


She studies (in order) to become a doctor

Estudia PARA ser doctora


2. The next use of para involves when you mention the recipient of the action. Take a look at the following 3 examples:


I made this cake for you – the word ‘you’ is the pronoun

Prepare esta torta PARA ti


I bought the book for her (she received the book)

Compramos el libro PARA ella


These flowers are for them (they receive the flowers)

Estas flores son PARA ellas


3. Para is also used to express a destination. Here is a simple example:

She is going to school

Ella va PARA la escuela


4. Finally, we use the verb form ‘para’ when showing deadlines (specific time)

For example: I need that report by Monday

Necesito el informe PARA el lunes


Another example is You will be married by midnight

Van a estar casdos PARA la medianoche


If you practice por vs para grammar, it will help you to learn Spanish.  To summarize the use Para, it must be used when expressing the following 4 circumstances:


  • to express purpose
  • to show recipient of action
  • to show destination
  • by/for a specific time


So when should you use the term POR? Anytime you do not wish to express the 4 above mentioned possibilities and circumstances. Pretty simple! Hopefully this brief overview of Para vs. Por rules will help you to learn Spanish grammar faster and easily than you had thought!

Filed under: Spanish Grammar

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!