Spanish Grammar: The Preposition [POR]

Spanish Grammar: The Preposition [POR]

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Spanish Grammar: The Preposition [POR]
la gramática española: la preposición [por]

  • Generally means for, with a variety of uses.
  • Understand the correct functions for por vs. para.


60-Second Spanish Grammar Lesson

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Both POR and PARA can be translated as “for” in English. However, they can have a wide variety of uses.

The first thing that you should remember is that POR and PARA are not interchangeable. They have different meanings and can be used differently in sentences. Don’t get them confused!

Here are the most common uses of POR:

1. To indicate cause or reason:

Hace un buen día por el sol.
It’s a nice day because of the sun.

Cancelamos el partido por la lluvia.
We canceled the game because of rain.

2. Support or action for a cause:

Es el presidente por la unión.
He is the president for the union.

Yo voto por mi amiga.
I’m voting for my friend.

3. To indicate exchange:

Compré los zapatos por mil pesos.
I bought the shoes for one thousand pesos.

Cambié la camisa por una más grande.
I exchanged the shirt for a larger one.

4. Traveling through a location (via or by):

Vamos a Mexico por Texas.
We’re going to Mexico via Texas.

Vamos a Buffalo por la carretera.
We are going to Buffalo by the Thruway.

5. “Per” as in “Percent”:

Yo doy cien por ciento.
I give one hundred percent.

Es una rebaja de cincuenta por ciento.
It’s a fifty percent discount.

6. Indicating who is performing an action:

Fue pintado por Van Gogh.
It was painted by Van Gogh.

Fue cantado por Pavarotti.
It was sung by Pavarotti.

7. General time expressions:

Por las mañanas.
In the mornings.

Por las tardes.
In the afternoons


¿Quién va por la ciudad?
Who is going through the city?

El taxista va por la ciudad.
The taxi driver is going through the city.

¿Por qué estudia inglés?
Why (for what reason) do you study English?

Yo estudio inglés por mi esposa.
I study English because of (for) my wife.

¿Por qué no haces la tarea?
Why (for what reason) don’t you do the homework?

Yo no hago mi tarea por la fátiga.
I don’t do my homework because of (for) the fatigue.

¿Cuánto debo por la camisa?
How much do I owe for the shirt?

Cinco mil colones por la camisa.
Five thousand colones for the shirt.


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