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Por Vs Para Tip

7 Comments
4 Helpful
andy@fluenz
Posts: 0
France
United States
Registered:
Feb 6, 2011
Oct 6, 2017 at 9:51am

When you want to say the reason you are doing something, you'll use 'para'. The easiest trick is that if you can replace the 'to' in English with 'in order to' then use para. So for example, 'Estoy aquí para hablar con españoles'—'I'm here (in order) to speak with Spanish people'. But "por" can be translated as "because of". So you say "por trabajo" = "because of work" and "para trabajar" = "in order to work/for working".

We can say that we'd use "por" when we want to talk about the reason why we do something and "para" when we refer to the purpose.

- "Vine a los Estados Unidos por trabajo = (I) came to the United States for work/because of (my) work": the stress is on the fact that work is the reason why I came to the United States.
- "Vine a los Estados Unidos para trabajar" = (I) came to the United States (in order) to work": the stress is on the purpose of the trip.

ojosdeverdes
Posts: 0
belleplaine, mn
Registered:
Dec 2, 2015
Oct 6, 2017 at 10:28am

Hate to get picky here but, it sounds like a distinction without a difference. Isn't 'The reason why' I came to the United States the same as 'The purpose of my trip' to the United States? The reason why, and, The purpose, say the same thing. The reason why I'm going to the store is to buy bread. The purpose for my trip to the store is to buy bread. I don't mean to be a pain in the ass here but I'm not seeing a tangible difference unless we're talking about tenses, which I don't think is the case.

Fabrice
Posts: 0
San Diego, CA
United States
Registered:
Sep 17, 2012
Oct 6, 2017 at 12:21pm

ojosdeverdes "por trabajo" = "Because of my work, I came to the US. "para trabajar" = "I came to the US for the purpose of working".

ojosdeverdes
Posts: 0
belleplaine, mn
Registered:
Dec 2, 2015
Oct 6, 2017 at 12:39pm

@Fabrice, Again, 'Because of my work' and 'For the purpose of working' say the same thing. It's a matter of semantics or preference. But I've let it go with hopes that it will become clear down the road. I appreciate your input.

Fabrice
Posts: 0
San Diego, CA
United States
Registered:
Sep 17, 2012
Oct 7, 2017 at 11:42am

Hi, I know it's very difficult to differenciate! What about "My work made me come to the US" vs "I'm going to the US so that I can work" ?

ojosdeverdes
Posts: 0
belleplaine, mn
Registered:
Dec 2, 2015
Oct 7, 2017 at 5:30pm

@Fabrice, Yes, that helps. I’m assuming the first sentence is por and the second is para? I’m going to make a note of this for my bulletin board. Although similar I can see the difference. Thanks for clarifying.

ScubaCPA
Posts: 0
Portland CT & Cozumel Mexico, Mexico &
United States
Registered:
May 22, 2014
Oct 14, 2017 at 10:58am

ojos - see my comment on your original post on this subject.

Ashoka Tano
Posts: 0
Germantown, Maryland
Registered:
Feb 3, 2017
Nov 1, 2017 at 10:16am

very helpful, thanks

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