Is it POR or is it PARA?

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“Peter y John van al gimnasio seis veces por semana para estar fuertes”. / PUBLIC DOMAIN

When do we use por and when do we use para? Here are some useful examples.

Level: Intermediate


-Destination (person)

Tengo unos zapatos para Ana. I have some shoes for Ana.

-Destination (thing)

Compré una mesa para mi apartamento. I bought a table for my apartment.


Iré para Boston el viernes. I’m going to Boston on Friday.

-Purpose/goal (meaning in order to)**

Como verduras para estar sana. I eat veggies in order to be healthy.
Voy a ir a Madrid para visitar a mis amigos. I’m going to Madrid in order to visit my friends.


Necesito el informe para el martes. I need the report for/by Tuesday.


*In this example, we could use a instead of para with the same meaning:

Iré a Boston el viernes.

**When using para as in order to, we usually use it with the infinitive form of a verb:

Fui a New Jersey para visitar a mi amiga. (I went to New Jersey [in order] to visit my friend.)

Voy al gimnasio para estar fuerte. (I go to the gym in order to be/to stay strong.)


-Periods of time

Trabajo por ocho horas cada día. I work for eight hours every day.

-Reason/cause (meaning because of)*

Berges Institute está cerrado por Thanksgiving. Berges Institute is closed “because of” Thanksgiving.
Llegué tarde por el tráfico. I got there late because of the traffic.


Compré un par de zapatos por 100 euros. I bought a pair of shoes for 100 euros.

-As the word per

Voy al gimnasio tres veces por semana. I go to the gym three times per week.


*When using por as because of, we usually use it with a noun:

El metro no funciona por un incidente. (The subway does not work because of an incident.)


Verbo de la semana:

Enharinar (to coat or to sprinkle with flour)

El cocinero enharinó las croquetas. The chef coated the croquettes with flour.
Siempre es bueno enharinar las verduras antes de freírlas. It is always good to coat the veggies in flour before deep-frying them.
En este restaurante enharinan ligeramente las papas fritas, y así están más crujientes. In this restaurant, they lightly sprinkle the french fries with flour and, this way, they are more crunchy.


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