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

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


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.


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 3 answers

NicoleB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Fuimos Ha Mallorca ___trabajo. (We went to Mallorca for/because of work.)

Hi,

I was wondering if and how this sentence would change if you were to use "para" and it comes to mind that perhaps if you used "para" then the sentence would have to change to "para trabajar" and not "para trabajo" ?

Or would there be 3 different meanings for each use: por trabajo, para trabajo, para trabajar (the latter meaning for the purpose of work, correct?)

Thank you. Nicole

Asked 2 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Nicole

There is a difference in these two sentences, although both would be grammatically correct:

1. Fuimos a Mallorca por trabajo. (We went to Mallorca for/because of work.)

2. Fuimos a Mallorca para trabajar. (We went to Mallorca in order to work.)

1. is emphasising the reason why you go and 2. is emphasising the purpose of your trip. (Even though in the end, the result is the same: you are going to end up working)

However "para trabajo" would sound a bit strange. We generally use "para" with the infinitive, not the noun. It is as if we are omitting the verb, i.e. "Fuimos a Mallorca para [empezar un/buscar] trabajo".

I hope this clarifies it for you.

Saludos

Inma

 

Fuimos Ha Mallorca ___trabajo. (We went to Mallorca for/because of work.)

Hi,

I was wondering if and how this sentence would change if you were to use "para" and it comes to mind that perhaps if you used "para" then the sentence would have to change to "para trabajar" and not "para trabajo" ?

Or would there be 3 different meanings for each use: por trabajo, para trabajo, para trabajar (the latter meaning for the purpose of work, correct?)

Thank you. Nicole

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JackA2Kwiziq community member

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..

Asked 5 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

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

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..

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DokuoA2Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 8 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

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

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

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