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Why There Are Two Words for “For” in Spanish?

JosepMarti 22 septiembre

You might be thinking: Why does the language require so many rules just to say something that can be explained with one word in English? If we can get by in English just saying “for”, why do we need two separate words in Spanish?”

Before you start thinking that Spanish is the “weird” language of the two, have an objective look at the English word “for”. Why do we use just this one word to describe many different ideas?

Look at these three sentences:

  • “I bought eggs for breakfast.”
  • “I bought eggs for €2.99.”
  • “I bought eggs for Harry.”

Try explaining to a student of English why the heck we use the word “for” in all three of these sentences! It actually makes less sense to do it this way than to use different words for different contexts.

It seems like Spanish has the right idea!

Like any “difficult” language feature, the usage of por and para just takes a bit of practice to get right.

Let’s dig into how you can learn the difference between them.