What is the Portuguese word for purpose

German native speakers have to be careful here: The difference in the use of the prepositions "para" and "por"

In the previous chapter you got a good overview of the prepositions in Portuguese.
In this chapter we want to draw your attention to two of these prepositions, which are a bit difficult to use for native German speakers:

This chapter deals with the differences between “para” and “por”.

German native speakers tend to use these two prepositions in exactly the wrong context. So that this doesn't happen to you, we want to show you the differences between the two.

Let's start by recalling the German translations for the two prepositions:

Translation of the prepositions “para” and “por” into German
para“Translates into German as ...por“Translates into German as ...
for, after, to ... to, to from, through, for, from, because, because of
In a next step, we want to explain to you as a basic clue that “para” is used in connection with rational, un-emotional statements.
“Por”, on the other hand, is used when making statements about your personal feelings.

Please keep this little rule of thumb in the back of your mind as we look more closely at the use of the two prepositions and compare them.

When do I use the preposition "para"?

The preposition “para” is used by a Portuguese native speaker when describing an intention or a goal or the purpose, purpose or motive of an action or an object.

Examples: "para" describes intention / goal / determination / purpose / motive
Isso é para mim. This is For me.
Eu preciso de uma chave de fendas para poder reparar o aspirador de pó. I need a screwdriver around repair the vacuum cleaner to can.
Chamo para ouvir a tua voz. I'm calling, around your voice to Listen.

If you do a place description that depends on the direction in relation to this place, you use “para”.

Examples: "para" describes location and direction
Eu vou para Lisboa. I fly to Lisbon.
Vire à direita para chegar ao centro da cidade. Turn right around In the city to come.

In this context you can remember that "para" stands together with verbs of movement:

Examples: "para" in verbs of movement
ir para go / drive to
vir para come after
partir para set off for

We also find “para” in sentences that deal with time relationships.
More precisely, this preposition is used when one wants to refer to the future.

Examples: "para" when referring to the future
para amanhã See you tomorrow
para a semana until next week
para o ano until next year
para semper forever

When do I use the preposition "por"?

Danger! Merger!
Please note that the preposition "por" merges with the definite article to form new forms (pelo, pela, pelos, pelas).

We often find the preposition "por" when it comes to describing the cause or the reason for an action.

Examples: "por" describes the reason / cause
O Martim fez isso por amizade. Martim did it out of friendship.
A Isabel desistiu da sua carreira por cupid. Isabel gave up her career out of love.
Não vou viajar por motivos pessoais. I am not traveling for personal reasons.

When it comes to a place whose location is indefinite or where crossing is emphasized, “por” is also used.

Examples: "por" describes an indefinite place and crossing
Nós viajaremos por Portugal para chegar a Espanha. We drive through Spain to come to Portugal.
Passaste por mim e not me viste. You walked past me and you didn't see me.

When talking about time relationships and wanting to emphasize the duration of an action, use “por”.

Examples: "por" describes the duration of a time relationship
por uma semana for a week, for a week
por um ano for a year, for a year

We also find the “por” in the passive voice. Here it marks the perpetrator of an act.

Examples: “por” in the passive voice indicates the perpetrator of an action
Este erro foi feito pelo (a) (= por o / a) chef. This mistake was made by the boss (the boss).
A Amália foi deixada pelo (= por o) seu marido. Amália was abandoned by her husband.

Furthermore, “por” could also be translated into German as “in exchange for ...” or “in favor of ...”.

Examples: "por" as a translation for "in exchange for" / "in favor of"
Eu dou-te este presente por um beijo. I give you this gift in exchange for a kiss.
Esta organização trabalha por crianças doentes. This organization works for the benefit of sick children.

The next chapter introduces you to other important words that are often overlooked: the conjunctions.