Por and Para

Por and Para Grammar + Video Clip:

“Paso por la puerta para estudiar.”
“I go through the door (in order) to study!”

Spanish Prepositions, Por and Para are not interchangeable, and difficult to get right without a lot of practice.
Early listening, reading and watching of the video clip below may help students to get to grips with these prepositions.
Grammar and examples are provided first, but for early listening practice just go straight to the video clip below for practice in context.
The following gap fill exercise is excellent for testing comprehension:
Por and Para Worksheet
(Check the answers by returning to the video clip)

Uses of PARA:

1.  PARA + Infinitive Verbs:
–  Estoy aquí para descansar  I am here (in order) to rest
Voy a la cantina para comer
= I go to the canteen (in order) to eat

2.  What, Who or When things are for.
–  Los globos son para mi cumpleaños
     (The balloons are for my birthday)
–  Los regalos son para mí.
(The presents are for me!)
–  Preparan la fiesta para mañana
       (They prepare the party for tomorrow)

3.  Use PARA after the verb ‘to travel’ (viajar) in Spanish
( = I travel for Spain)
Viajo para España   (I travel to Spain)

Uses of  POR:

 To say thank you:
–  Gracias por los globos
       (Thank you for the balloons)

2.  To say when during the day:
–  Tomo un café por la mañana
I have a coffee in the morning)
–  Descanso por la tarde
(I rest in the afternoon)
–  Duermo por la noche
(I sleep at night)

3.  To go along/around/through + look out of:
–  Andan por el campo
      (They walk through the field)
–  Caminan por la calle
      (They walk along the road)
–  Caminan por la ciudad
      (They walk around the city)
–  Miran por la ventana
(They look out of the window)

4.  Because of/On behalf of:
–  Los globos son por mi cumpleaños
      (The balloons are because of my birthday)
–  Como el chocolate por mi mamá
        (I eat the chocolate on behalf of my mother)
        (To avoid her eating it!)

5.  To pay for things:
Pago por el billete de tren
I pay for the train ticket

Use this follow-up Gap fill exercise for reinforcement and to test comprehension:
Por and Para Worksheet

Main Spanish Page:  Spanish for Children

Image for Por and Para Practice