When do you use POR and when is it best to use PARA to say, FOR? You'll soon learn that Portuguese has different words to express what we would use one word to accomplish. It's part of what makes the language very precise. English is considered vague by comparison!
por vs. para ~ Can't we all just get along?
The por vs. para question always seems to put everyone into a fighting mood. That's because we're so used to saying for without having to think about it. Imagine if we had two different ways to say, for?!
The road to happiness is always : simplify. By learning the most, most used instances of these words we can get to fluency faster.
por: Movement through something
*When you have por + o or, por + a » these can contract! Like this:
por: it can contract too!
It's not an obvious contraction. I think it's just because it sounds good: PAY-LO & PAY-LA.
Use para to say, go somewhere.
para: Direction & Destination.
And if you're really LIGADO com a língua and wonder if you can also contract para + o,a.
But it's (for now) just coloquial, which means that you should only use it in informal, spoken situations. Language evolves, and one day these contractions may be adopted into the official lexicon:
para + o = pro
para + a = pra
Our course will show you exactly how to use Portuguese correctly and effectively. Using por and para will never again be a mystery!
Try it free for 14 days.
No commitment. Cancel anytime.
por = by, for, per, in, of, to, with, via, out of, for the sake of AND SO ON.
por » by
por acaso = by chance
por aqui = around here (literally, by here)
por perto = close by (literally, by close)
por » for
por volta de = about, around (literally, for return of)
por motivo de = for reason of (literally, for motive of)
por causa de = because of (literally, for cause of)
por enquanto = for a while (literally, for while)
por » by, on, of
por aqui » close-by
por perto » close-by
por aí » by you
por lá » over there
por volta » about, around
by: Está por sobrenome? (Is it by last name?)
around: Tem um banco por aqui? (Is there a bank around here?)
around: Tem uma farmácia por perto? (Is there a pharmacy nearby?)
for: Troca por uma bicicleta? (Trade for a bicycle?)
reason: Por causa de um erro. (Due to an error.)
por can contract
por + o: Pelo visto eu não tenho opção. By the looks of it I don't have a choice.
por + a Obrigada pela dica amiga. Thanks for the tip friend!
Para has two meanings.
(1) to (a place)
You can use either a, or para to express to. In general, using para implies that you are going to somewhere in order to be there a while. Usually that’s to your home, to work etc. But don’t get hung up on this – time is relative 😉
to > Eu vou para o brasil. (I'm going to Brazil.)
to > Você vai para a praia? (Are you going to the beach?)
(2) in order to
in order to > Eu estou aqui para estudar. (I'm here to study.)
in order to > Trabalho para ganhar dinheiro. (I work to earn money.)