Using para (and not por) for 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.

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

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]


Mis hermanos vendrán a casa para Navidad.
My siblings will come home for Christmas. [for when Christmas comes]


Q&A Forum 1 question, 1 answer

EmanuelB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Quiero un crucero para mi cumpleaños.

Does it mean that he wants to be on the ship on the day of his birthday? Or does he want to receive the gift on that day?

Asked 2 days ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Emanuel,

It means that he wants to receive the present on the day of his birthday.

Saludos

Inma

Quiero un crucero para mi cumpleaños.

Does it mean that he wants to be on the ship on the day of his birthday? Or does he want to receive the gift on that day?

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