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Uses of POR in Spanish

“Por” means “for”, “because of”, “by” and several other meanings depending on the context.

 

Usage:

 

  1. To express gratitude or apology

Example: ¡gracias por la ayuda! (Thanks for the help!)

 

  1. For multiplication and division

Example: Dos por dos son cuatro. (Two times two equals four)

 

  1. For velocity, frequency and proportion

Example: Voy al restaurante cinco veces por semana. (I go to the restaurant five times a week)

 

  1. Meaning “through,” “along,” “by” or “in the area of”

Example: Andamos por el parque. (We walk through the park)

 

  1. When talking about exchange, including sales

Example: Él me dio diez dólares por el libro. (He gave me ten dollars for the book)

 

  1. To mean “on behalf of,” or “in favor of,”

Example: No voté por nadie. (I didn’t vote for anyone)

 

  1. To express a length of time

Example: yo estudié por dos horas. (I studied for two hours)

 

  1. To express an undetermined, or general time, meaning “during”

Example: se puede ver las estrellas por la noche. (Stars can be seen at night)

 

  1. For means of communication or transportation

Example: prefiero viajar por tren y hablar por teléfono. (I prefer to travel by train and talk by phone)

 

  1. In cases of mistaken identity, or meaning “to be seen as”

Example: me tienen por loco. (They think I’m crazy)

 

  1. To show the reason for an errand

Example: voy por las frutas (in Spain, “voy a por las frutas”). (I go to get the fruits)

 

  1. When followed by an infinitive, to express an action that remains to be completed, use “por + infinitive”

Example: la cena está por prepararse/cocinarse. (The dinner is yet to be prepared)

 

  1. To express cause or reason

Example: el hombre murió por falta de agua. (The man died due to lack of water)

 

  1. “Estar por” means to be in the mood, or inclined to do something

Example: estoy por tomar café. (I feel like having some coffee)

 

  1. In passive constructions

Example: el libro fue escrito por Octavio Paz. (The book was written by Octavio Paz)

Some idiomatic expressions with “Por”:

 

Spanish English
1 por adelantado in advance
2 por ahora for now
3 por allí around there; that way
4 por amor de Dios for God’s sake
5 por aquí around here; this way
6 por casualidad by chance
7 por ciento percent
8 por cierto by the way
9 por completo completely
10 por dentro inside
11 por desgracia unfortunately
12 por ejemplo for example
13 por eso therefore
14 por favor please
15 por fin finally, at last
16 por lo general generally
17 por lo visto apparently
18 por medio de by means of
19 por lo menos at least
20 por lo tanto consequently; therefore
21 por mi parte as for me
22 por ningún lado nowhere
23 por otra parte (por otro lado) on the other hand
24 palabra por palabra word for word
25 por primera vez for the first time
26 por separado separately
27 por supuesto of course
28 por suerte fortunately
29 por todas partes everywhere
30 por todos lados on all sides
31 por último finally

 

 

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