Spanish Blog


Taking the confusion out of “por” and “para” 1

This two prepositions “por” and “para” are frequently mixed up because they are often used for the English word “for”.

They key to understand which preposition has to be used is to think about the meaning you want to convey. In this post I’m going to show you the major uses of these two prepositions:

PARA POR 
Purpose- Estudio español para hablar bien con mis amigos españoles.
- I study Spanish in order to speak properly with my Spanish friends.
Cause / Reason- Llegué tarde por el tráfico.
- I arrived late because of the trafic.
Time limit- Quiero el informe en mi oficina para el jueves.
- I want the report in my office by Thursday.
Length of time / Duration of an action (= durante)- Estuvimos encerrados por cinco horas.
- We were locked for five hours.
Destination / Movement towards a place (= hacia)- Voy para el teatro.
- I go to the theatre.
Movement through / by a place- Paseamos por las calles de Paris.
- We walked by the streets of Paris.
Addressee- Este regalo es para ti.
- This present is for you.
Agent- Esta carta fue escrita por Mary.
- This letter was written by Mary.
Comparison- Está muy alto para su edad.
- He is very tall for his age.
Substitution- Estaba enfermo por lo que vine a trabajar por él.
- He was ill so I came to work in his place.

* The preposition “por” in this case is often omitted: Ej: Estuvimos encerrados 5 horas.

Besides this uses there are few more uses and phrases to have into consideration. Here I will indicate a few.

POR

  • Rate or unit of measure:

Elena gana muy bien, casi 60€ por hora. (Elena has a very good salary, almost 60€ per hour).

  • Means of transportation:

Viene por avión. (He comes by plane).

  • Supporting or in favor of:

Trabajo por los Derechos Humanos. (I work for Human Rights).

PARA

  • Perspective or opinion:

Para mi, el arte es muy importante. (The art is very important to me).

PHRASES

  • Por si acaso = In case
  • Por eso = Because of that, so
  • Por fin = Finally, at last
  • Por ahora = For now
  • Por lo menos = At least
  • Por cierto = By the way

¿Qué tomas? – Online Spanish Tutor – Intermediate (Podcast 7)

 

 

¿Qué tomas? – 7

 

 

In this podcast you will listen to real Spanish conversations in an outdors terrace and in a café talking about drinks, food… and the weather! You can find some grammar points related with the subject, some explanations and some practice too.

If you want to exploit at most this audio, get the worksheet available where you’ll find the grammar point, vocabulary and expressions that appear in this audio and some exercises to practice your Spanish.

You can download the podcast here.


Toda una vida – Online Spanish Tutor – Intermediate (Podcast 6)

 

 

 

Toda una vida – 6

 

 

In this podcast you will learn how to talk about the past, past experiences and recount stories in the past. I will show you how and when we use the different tenses and you will learn numerous vocabulary and expressions.

If you want to exploit at most this audio, get the worksheet available where you’ll find the grammar point, vocabulary and expressions that appear in this audio and some exercises to practice your Spanish.

You can download the podcast here.


Talk about the past in Spanish (I): Pretérito Perfecto de Indicativo (Present Perfect) 5

To talk about past experiences in an undefined time in the past, whether we don’t know exactly “when”, or just because it’s not important, we use the “Pretérito Perfecto de Indicativo” (Present Perfect).

  • Formation

The Pretérito Perfecto is formed in the same way as English, with the verb “haber” (is the auxiliar verb, like “to have” in English) and the participle. The auxiliary verb is conjugated for the subject of the sentece:

Example:

Pedro ha pagado las facturas.
Pedro has paid the bills. 

Ellas no han ido de vacaciones todavía.
They haven’t gone on holidays yet.

The participle is formed by dropping the infinitive ending and adding either -ado or -ido. The participle is invariable, it doesn’t change. We can’t put anything between the auxiliar verb and the participle:

Example:

Yo ya he aprendido a contar en alemán. And not: Yo he ya aprendido a contar en alemán.
I have already learn to count in german.

  • Uses:

1) The pretérito perfecto is frequently used for past actions that continue into the present or continue to affect in the present.

Examples:

Mis amigos y yo hemos ido al cine esta semana a ver la última película de George Clooney.
My friend and I, we have gone to the cinema this week to watch the last movie of George Clooney.

He perdido las llaves y no puedo entrar en casa.
I have lost my keys and I can’t get into the house.

2) The pretérito perfecto is used sometimes with frequency expressions, like: todavía no, aún no, ya, una vez, dos veces, muchas veces, pocas veces…

Example:

Mi novio ha venido a visitarme a Córcega muchas veces.
My boyfriend has come to visit me in Corsica a lot of times.

Todavía no he aprendido a comunicarme en árabe con mis amigos marroquís, tengo que practicar más.
I haven’t learnt yet to communicate in Arabic with my Morocan friends, I have to practice more.

 


Rutinas – Online Spanish Tutor – Beginners (Podcast 5)

 

Rutinas – 5

 

 

In this podcast we will go through a short description of daily routines, and vocabulary related with timetables, frequency and Spanish food.

If you want to exploit at most this audio, get the worksheet available where you’ll find the grammar point, vocabulary and expressions that appear in this audio and some exercises to practice your Spanish.

You can download the podcast here.


Estados de ánimo – Online Spanish Tutor – Beginner (Podcast 4)

 

Estados de ánimo – 4

 

 

In  today’s podcast you will learn how to express moods and states of mind.

If you want to exploit at most this audio, get the worksheet available where you’ll find the grammar point, vocabulary and expressions that appear in this audio and some exercises to practice your Spanish.

You can download the podcast here.