I was doing a writing exercise, and I put "estar por" instead of "estar a punto de" and I was corrected and "estar por" wasn't shown as an option. I'm wondering why since I have heard and used this expression frequently.
The phrase that has to be translated was, "He was about to go out the door when..."
As David said, it is possible to use estar por but it's not that commonly used in Spain - in Spain we'd use it but with an extra nuance generally. Here is a lesson about that topic:
Using Estar por + infinitive to express feeling tempted/having the intention to do something (perífrasis verbal)
If you tell me which writing challenge you were doing when coming across that sentence, we can then have a closer look and we may need to add that extra option.
My [Oxford] dictionary implies that it might be more common in Latin America > when it gives the example: "Junto estábamos por empezar a comer".
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