Using por (not para) to express the originating cause or reason

The preposition por (and not para) is used in Spanish in sentences where we want to give a reason why something happens.

Have a look and listen to these examples:

Me casé por amor.
I married for love.

No me divorcié por los niños.
I didn't get divorced because of the children.

In both cases above the preposition por is followed by a noun, but you can also see por followed by an infinitive for example: 

Ha salido en la televisión por tener quince minutos de fama.
He's been on TV because he was famous for fifteen minutes.

Va a estudiar medicina por seguir la tradición familiar.
She is studying medicine because it's family tradition.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ha salido en la televisión por tener quince minutos de fama.
He's been on TV because he was famous for fifteen minutes.


Me casé por amor.
I married for love.


Va a estudiar medicina por seguir la tradición familiar.
She is studying medicine because it's family tradition.


No me divorcié por los niños.
I didn't get divorced because of the children.


Q&A

jack

Kwiziq community member

19 May 2019

1 reply

What do you mean by " going for work"?

 I am afraid I didn't meet , as yet,  this expression in English and thus, I don't know its meaning. So, can't say if it is "por" or "para" ..

(probably  the Spanish sentence has a well defined meaning but, with my poor Spanish, can't say what is this meaning..

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

20 May 2019

20/05/19

Hola Jack

When we say in this sentence "Fuimos a Mallorca por trabajo" (We went to Mallorca for work) we mean because of work, the reason why we went to Mallorca was work. 

I understand that it could be a bit ambiguous so I added to the English translation "because of" so it should be clearer now.

I hope this helps

Inma

Dokuo

Kwiziq community member

8 March 2019

1 reply

When por is followed by a verb, can I also use para instead?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

11 March 2019

11/03/19

Hola Dokuo,

Yes you can. But bear in mind that the meaning of para +infinitive is different to por + infinitive. Here is a lesson on Para + infinitive:

Using para (and not por) for purpose, goal or objective

Hope it helps

Inma

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