The Grammar Page

Grammar Basics



Spanish 101A

Spanish 101B

FAQs & About drlemon©®

Email me!

Creative Commons License by Deborah R. Lemon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Based on a work at

Here are some guidelines that you can refer to when you aren't sure whether to use Por or Para. Use them as a reference when completing the homework.

Por (Movimiento) Para (Destino o Meta)

Reason, Impetu or cause:

  • Lo hizo por bueno
    • He did it for [the common] good.
  • Esto es por ti
    • This is because of/due to you [your fault].
  • Fui por agua
    • I went for [my motivating factor] water

including Instigating person agent or person

  • Lo hizo por ti.
    • He did it because of you/of what you did (you made him do it.
  • Fue construído por Mauricio Izquierdo
    • It was built by Mauricio Izquierdo.

End Goal (Purpose):

  • Estudia para ser médico.
    • He's studying to be (in order to be) a doctor.
  • Voy para aprender más
    • I'm going in order to learn more.
  • Fui para llenar el tanque.
    • I went to (in order to) put gas in the car

to indicate direction or path of movement:

  • Voy por Toledo
    • I going through or in the direction of Toledo
  • Voy por el norte.
    • I'm heading north

Physical Destination [You can often sustitute "hacia" for para]:

  • Voy para Toledo
    • I'm going to Toledo.

to indicate a Duration or Passage of time:

  • Será por agosto.
    • It will be in August, during August
  • María cantó por dos horas
    • María sang for two hours

Time Limit or Destination:

  • Voy para agosto
    • I'm going by August) (deadline)
  • El informe es para las cinco de la tarde.
    • The report is for (due by) 5pm.



  • Pago $25.00 por la novela
    • I pay $25.00 for the novel.
  • Doy el libro por el otro
    • I give this book for the other [book].
  • Trabajo por ella.
    • I'm working for her today (in her place.)


  • Este regalo es para ti.
    • This gift is for you.
  • Trabajo para ella.
    • I work for her (she is my employer)

¿Por qué lo hiciste?

¿Para qué lo hiciste?

Why did you do it? [Motive, Cause]

What was your intension? [to what end? Purpose, Goal]

Regreso por agosto.

Regreso para agosto.

I'll return sometime in/during August.

I'll return by August.

Esto es por ti.

Esto es para ti.

This is because of you (your fault).

This is for you. [Destination, Recipient]

Visito por la Navidad.

Visito para la Navidad.

I'll visit during Christmas.

I'll visit by Christmas.