I was just watching "¿Quién mato a Sara?" (takes place in Mexico) where a security guard in a parking lot tells a character waiting in his car to meet with someone "Estamos por cerrar". The English subtitles render it as something like "We're about to close."
Would saying "estamos para cerrar" also make sense in this context? Would the meaning be different, and if so how? Is it a regional/dialect thing? Does the nuance have to do with the implication of intent, as was generalized in another post, or is it more complex...?
I'm confused by this pair of expressions... they seem like they want to be different and yet the meanings seem confusingly close... I know language isn't always logical, but I'm just trying to get a feel for it. Thank you in advance...
Yes, that's a tricky one!
In that sentence from "¿Quién mato a Sara?" the meaning behind "Estamos por cerrar" could be either that they have been thinking about closing and they've suddenly thought, OK, let's do it, let's close (there is an intention to do something after some thinking) hence the use of "por", or the most logical one would simply be that something is about to happen, where this would click as this is what you expect from someone in a shop and doesn't want an extra customer to get in as it's too late.
This last meaning overlaps a bit with the use of "para". I would have personally used "para" in this context, but it may be a situation in Latin America where the use of "por" is quite common, or maybe just in Mexico.
As that use is one that overlaps I'd say it's perfectly acceptable with either por or para.
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