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More on por and para

Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

This is not really a question. More of an observation. I really just memorize it by hearing it multiple times. Estoy aquí por negocios. I’m here on business. Estoy aquí para bucear. I'm here to scuba dive- The first sentence with word "on" is translated as "por". I would have thought that "on" is "en" in Spanish and "por" is "for" in English. The second sentence with the word "to" is translated as "para". I would have thought "to" is "a" in Spanish and "para" is "for" in English.
Robert-C7

Robert-C7

I think you have the right idea about the need to memorize. Even after reading all of the explanations, I still do not have a hard and fast rule as to when to use 'para' versus 'por' but I do have a good feeling about which one to use. One thing we do know for sure is that Spanish does not use prepositions the same way we do in English. We use them (prepositions like to, at, on) a lot more often in English. Maybe a better way to translate the first sentence is "I am here for business". As for the second, since it uses the infinitive bucear, that is where you get then "to scuba dive". Here 'para' seems to be there to join "estoy aquí" with buscear.
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola a todos, Para before an infinitive can express purpose or why one does something as "in order to". It can also go before a conjugated verb with "qué" ¿Para que fuiste al aeropuerto? Fui al aeropuerto para tomar el avión. Another unexpected preposition: Romeo está enamorado de Julieta. "De" not "con" is used for to be in love with. Estoy enamorado de español! Saludos, Ricardo
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

The most helpful thing I have found for deciding whether to use por or para is a graphic on the DR Lemon web site. It is like a four-spoked wheel, with each "spoke" representing various uses of por, and the terminus of the spoke into the wheel representing para. It has helped me visualize and decide whether something is an end result (para) or a path toward a result (por.) I am slowly beginning to feel more confident in which to select. As for the fact that not every English preposition has a corresponding Spanish one, and vice versa, I think as Robert said, it comes down to memorization. Choosing the wrong one in conversation is frustrating to me until I remember that a lot of my native Spanish-speaking friends choose the wrong words when speaking English. I can still understand them and I appreciate that navigating a language that you have not spoken your entire life is challenging, so I don't think less of them for their errors. I assume they give me the same latitude.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

Here's another one I remember from the course: - No voy por diversion. Voy para protegerlos. The more I try to find some formula to get these straight, the more I fall back on memorizing and "gut feeling". So in the absence of being able to say something intelligent and helpful here, I guess I'll just have to settle on pocketing those 100 points... :-)
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

Yo tambien. Gracias por todos participaciones. Someone, please correct the previous sentence. Solo yo se "gracias por tu participacion". No voy por diversion. Voy para protegerlos - I am not going for fun. I am going to protect according to google translation. Can someone translate this sentence. It does not look complete. Thanks. Steven, a hundred points is pretty good. I wish more people would take advantage of it. Any comment always is helpful to me.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

Here's a tough one for me: - Estoy aquí por negocios. - No voy por diversion. If we were to change the sentences to read as follows (a pretty equivalent meaning - at least in English): - Estoy aquí <por> negociar. - No voy <por> divertirme. I would be tempted to use "para" in those last two phrases as it sounds like "in order to" (as Ricardo mentions above) - and, actually, it somehow sounds better.
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Here is the link to the por/para wheel I mentioned: http://www.drlemon.com/Grammar/por-para.html#at_pco=smlre-1.0&at_si=54a6f675e8fcbffe&at_ab=per-2&at_pos=1&at_tot=4 I guess it is the "north" spoke of the wheel that reveals why por and not para is used in "estoy aquí por negocios." And I supposed the south spoke is why it is "gracias POR tu participación." Dan
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

I found that por/para wheel to be really helpful. Thanks, Dan. An interesting note: "...originally Por and Para came from the same Latin word "pro". Pro later split into por and por a which eventually became por and para respectively." I propose that if we find the person responsible for that change on the other side of eternity that all of us collectively kick in the guy's knee caps...

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