Friday, November 9, 2007

Por o para mañana?

Hi Karin,

I was having trouble deciding between por and para for "for" in the sense
of: here is something now, but it is for later. E.g. it is your birthday
tomorrow, and I give you a present today, and say: this is for tomorrow.

I didn't think para was quite right, as that gives a sense of a deadline,
doesn't it? e.g. you have to complete a report for tomorrow (para
mañana). But por in the sense of the reason doesn't quite convey the
sense I was after either. I guess the problem is that I can't quite
make up my mind exactly what for actually means in English in the
sense above. I'm now wondering whether para might actually be closer.

  • Here's your present, It is for tomorrow.
  • I've got some chocolate. I won't eat it now. I'll keep it for (until) after dinner.
  • That will be enough for now (por el momento).
  • I've got a new coat for the winter. (to use during the winter, still in the future)
  • Don't eat the cake now. It's for later (to be eaten at a later time)
How would you translate these examples?

As always, a big thanks!


Hi G,

For what the meaning you want to comunicate, it's "para mañana".

"Para" can convey both meanings:
"Lo quiero terminado para mañana" means the deadline is tomorrow.
"No abras el regalo todavía, es para mañana" means it's not for now, it's for later (tomorrow).

My translations for your statements:
  • Aquí está tu regalo. Es para mañana.(i.e. Don't open it until tomorrow/it's for later)
  • Tengo chocolate. No lo voy a comer ahorita. Lo guardaré para después de la cena.(i.e. I'll keep it for (until) after dinner/it's for later)
  • Es suficiente por ahora. --- O "por el momento" **** Here we use "por"
  • Tengo un abrigo nuevo para el invierno.(It's for later)
  • No comas el pastel ahora. Es para después.(Again, it's for later)
– Karin

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