Señor Jordan's Spanish Videos » Blog Archive » 02 Por vs. Para

02 Por vs. Para

Posted by Señor Jordan on Apr 27, 2011 in grammar, prepositions, year 2 |

¡Hola!  In this lesson, we talk about some of the key differences between how we use por and para in Spanish.  It’s very confusing since both of these words can be translated as for in English for different things.

Keep in mind that you can often use both words in a sentence, but they might change the meaning slightly.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments about the lesson below.  Enjoy!

Printable Por vs. Para – Pre-quiz
Printable sheet with differences

Chart from video:

más práctica:
Check back here soon!

Sustantivos (nouns)
acá / aquí – here
allá / ahí / allí – there
gracias – thanks
el abuelo – grandpa
el almuerzo – lunch
el amigo – friend
el arte moderno – modern art
el avión – plane
el carro – the car
el centro – downtown
el dinero – money
el estudiante – student
el fútbol – soccer
el gato – cat
el parque – park
el pastel – cake
el perro – dog
el presidente – president
el queso – the cheese
el ratón – mouse
el trabajo – job, work
la abuela – grandma
la abuelita – (little) grandma
la ayuda – help
la camiseta – t-shirt
la casa – house / home
la ciudad – city
la culpa – fault
la feria – the fair
la hora – hour
la iglesia – church
la leche – the milk
la mamá – mom
la novia – girlfriend
la playa – beach
las hamburguesas – hamburgers
las manos – hands
las millas – miles
la tarea – homework
la tienda – the store
los ciclistas – the cyclists
los dólares – dollars
los guantes – the gloves
los huevos – the eggs
los minutos – minutes
los muchachos – boys
los papás – parents
los sábados – On Saturday
un anillo – ring
una suspensión – a suspension
un enano – a midget
un juguete – a toy
un libro de historia – History book
un taxi – taxi

otro (other)
alto – tall
aunque – although
donde – where
en – in
ese / esa – that
este / esta – this
estos / estas – these
grande – big
guapo – handsome
más – more
mi(s) – my
muy – very
interesante – interesting
otro / otra – other
raro – weird, strange
siempre – always
su(s) – his/her/their
todos – every; everyone
tu(s) – your
y / e – and
ya – already

verbos (verbs)
ahorrar – to save
– to go, to walk
++anda – he / she goes
++andábamos – we were going
– to walk
++caminamos – we walk / we walked
++caminan – they walk
– to drive
++condujo – he / she drove
– to buy
++compraron – they bought
– to give
++me dio – s/he gave to me
– to rest
– to hope, to wait for
++esperamos – we wait (for) / we waited (for)
– to be
++está – s/he is (feeling, located, etc)
++estábamos – we were (feeling, located, etc)
– to talk
++hablaron por teléfono – they talked on the telephone
– to do, to make
– to go
++fue – he / she went
++fuimos – we went
++Nos fuimos – we left
++vámonos – let’s go
++fueron – they went
++iban – they went / they were going
– to play
++jugamos – we play
– to drive
++maneja – s/he drives
– to need
++necesito – I need
– to pay
++pagamos – we pay / we paid
– to hit
– to lose
– to want
++quiere – he / she wants
++queremos – we want
– to get, to receive
++recibió – he / she received; he / she got
– to know
++sabemos – we know
– to be
++fue diseñado / fue diseñada – he / she / it was designed
++es – s/he his
++son – they are
– to have
++tiene – he / she has
++tiene que – he / she has to
++tenemos que – we have to
– to finish, to end
– to work
++trabajo – I work
++trabaja – he / she works
++trabajamos – we work / we worked
venir – to come
++Ven – (You) Come!

Related video(s):

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Sra. Duff
Apr 28, 2011 at 7:40 am

Thank you for this new fabulous video. We missed you! The extra quiz and reminder handout are awesome, too. Thank you for all the work you put into these videos.

Apr 28, 2011 at 10:03 am

Very appreciated. Muchas gracias. No me gustan las actividades de nuestro libro–y es mucho trabajo para crear todas de las actividades. Puedo usar este video como repaso en el cuarto curso y como una introduccion en la tercera.

Gracias x dos million!

Apr 28, 2011 at 10:06 am

the prequiz won’t open! not sure if this is my computer or the file.


May 13, 2011 at 8:48 am

Yay! The long-waited video! 🙂

Muchas gracias por hacer de este video. Es una explicacíon muy clara!
Finalmente yo lo entiendo mejor.

Gracias, gracias!

Jun 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Thanks so so much, you have saved my grade! I don’t know why you don’t charge for this but I am great full!

Jun 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm

abuela vs. abulita
Is abuela used more for formality?

Jul 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Hi Señor Jordan, you’ve put together yet another accurate lesson, this time on how to use por vs. para in Spanish.

At first I’m sure many of us are intimidated by these terms, however, you have simplified it with your brief explanation and videos. Your quizzes are very helpful as well, makes learning more enjoyable. Thanks again for all your help on here!

Sr. Ross
Feb 22, 2012 at 9:01 am

This is the best explanation of por and para I have ever seen. I’ve watched many videos, read many books, listened to many podcasts, but this is the best. I think I finally got it!

Enrique Oramas
Feb 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm

«Por pegar a otro estudiante…» is not the same as «por pegarLE a otro estudiante». The second one means that one student hit another; the first one means that he stuck the other student to something, presumably with some kind of glue, which means that the sentence, as you wrote it, is incomplete. It would have to be constructed like «Por pegar a otro estudiante A SU PUPITRE con pegamento, Pedro fue suspendido» or «Por pegarle a otro estudiante, Pedro fue suspendido»—”Pedro got a suspension for hitting another student.”

Sienna Chappell
Jun 1, 2013 at 6:28 am

Fuimos a México por avión?????

Creo que es “fuimos a México en avión”

Por avión = freight

Jan 29, 2015 at 5:56 am

Finally – something that made sense and I could understand. Thank you!

Señora Butler
Feb 23, 2015 at 2:28 pm

¡Muchas gracias! This video was just what I was looking for to help clarify por and para for my students. You are a lifesaver!

Sra. Palac
Mar 23, 2016 at 8:30 am

This is super! My students enjoyed this and it was very clear.

May 20, 2016 at 5:16 pm

I hope you know in Mexico “gringos” is used as an insult against white people. I know you meant it innocently, but still you should watch what you say.

Señor Jordan
May 31, 2016 at 1:06 pm

It completely depends on who says it to you and the context. I don’t take offense. Life’s too short! 🙂

bekah morton
Jun 27, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Hola! I just wanted you to know your efforts have not gone unnoticed and me in my friends in our spanish courses absolutely adore your videos and they have SAVED US. Youre awesome- keep being you Senor Jordan.
-Your biggest fans.

Señor Jordan
Aug 9, 2016 at 11:10 am

What an awesome comment, thanks so much Bekah!



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