Monday, November 21, 2016

WHEN TO USE "POR" AND "PARA" IN PORTUGUESE?



Image (Through) by Rising Damp (CC BY 2.0)
After all, When should I use "POR" and when should I use "PARA"? If you learn Portuguese and also have doubts about it I believe this article can help you...



I have a friend who lives in Austria, her name is ana and she speaks German. But Anna has a question that afflicts many students of the Portuguese language: She already knows about some situations where she should use "POR" and "PARA", but she has some doubts about what she calls "general rule" for the use of these two words. So we talked a little about it. In this article I will show some points of our conversation.


WHAT DO THESE TWO WORDS MEAN?

Before everything, we have to know very well the definition of each one of them. In the table below we can see what each of these prepositions mean:

POR PARA
HOW CAN I TRANSLATE IT?
English: "for", "by", "at", "through", "via"
Spanish: "por"
French: "par", "pour"
Italian: "per", "da"

MAIN IDEAS:
1) cause, reason
2) Place in where something or someone pass
HOW CAN I TRANSLATE IT?
English: "for", "to", "in(to)", "in order to"
Spanish: "para", "hacia"
French: "pour", "à", "en", "vers"
Italian: "per", "a", "in", "da", "verso"

MAIN IDEAS:
1) direction
2) purpose

The table also shows us why so many people like Anna have doubts about how to use "POR" and "PARA" :-)

If you search for these words in the dictionary, You will find expressions like "It is a preposition that indicates...", "Designation of relation of...", "Preposition that expresses..." Or similar things. So let's see some of these ideas:


WHEN SHOULD I USE "POR"?

Indicating where you are walking:
"Marcos andou por aquelas ruas."
Your example:  

Indicating means:
"Ela segurou a criança pelo braço."
Your example:  

Indicating how something is done:
"Julgaram a moça por puro preconceito."
Your example:  

Frequency concept:
"Ele toma banho duas vezes por dia."
Your example:  

Notion of division:
"Ela dividiu o pão por dois."
Your example:  

Notion of exchange:
"Ele trocou uma nota de R$100 por duas notas de R$50."
Your example:  

Indicating cause:
"Ela chorou por ciúme."
Your example:  

Notion of time:
"Ele ficou parado aqui por horas."
Your example:  

Passive agent:
"O rato foi morto pelo gato."
Your example:  


WHEN SHOULD I USE "PARA"?

Indicating recipient:
"Esses documentos são para você."
Your example:  

Indicating purpose:
"É um bom carro para usar na cidade."
Your example:  

Indicating destination:
"Este trem vai para Salvador."
Your example:  

Indicating time limit:
"Tenho consulta médica marcada para amanhã."
Your example:  

Indicating personal opinion:
"Para mim, as coisas não devem ser feitas dessa maneira."
Your example:  


LET'S REMEMBER MORE SOME RULES

We can't forget that prepositions are invariable words. So "POR" and "PARA" do not have flexion of gender, number, degree, etc. But in some situations, Prepositions combine with other words of the Portuguese language and form the contractions.

"POR" can have the following combinations, and should have the following contractions:

POR + O = PELO:
Example: "O ladrão foi levado pelo policial."

POR + A = PELA:
Example: "Andei pela calçada."

POR + OS = PELOS:
Example: "Você será responsável pelos danos que causar."

POR + AS = PELAS:
Example: "Em caso de emergência, saia pelas laterais."

NOTE: These contractions are mandatory. It does not matter if you are writing or whether your conversation is formal or informal, you will always use these contractions when necessary.

There is an even more special case. "PARA" has an informal form, which in this case is "PRA". "PARA" has never contractions, but "PRA" must contract when combined. See:

PRA + O = PRO:
Example: "Você vai pro Rio de Janeiro?"

PRA + A = PRA:
Example: "Meu pai foi pra Alemanha."

PRA + OS = PROS:
Example: "Trouxe café pros diretores."

PRA + AS = PRAS:
Example: "Essa flor é pras meninas."

NOTE: Remember that "PRA" is part of informal language, try to avoid writing "PRA". When you use "PARA", in writing or in a conversation, you should not use contraction. You will write or say "PARA O..." , "PARA A...", etc.






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