Por vs Para in Spanish: precise time location
We use the preposition para (not por) when we want to say "when something takes place/took place/will take place" if we refer to a specific event.
Read and listen to these examples:
Mis hermanos vendrán a casa para Navidad.My siblings will come home for Christmas. [for when Christmas comes]
Te vamos a comprar un reloj para tu cumpleaños.We are going to buy you a watch for your birthday. [for the day of your birthday]
Nos vamos al Caribe para nuestro aniversario.We are going to the Caribbean for our wedding anniversary. [for the day of our anniversary]
In the three examples above, by using preposition para, we are expressing the precise time or on which precise event/day something takes place.
Have a look at the these same sentences, one with para and the other with por and see how the meaning changes even though the direct English translation remains the same:
David vino para la celebración. (David came for the celebration.)
David vino por la celebración. (David came for the celebration.)
The first example with para means that David came on the day of the celebration, while the second one with por means that David came because of the celebration. See Using por (not para) to express the originating cause or reason for more information on this last usage.
Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident?
We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your
gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »