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Chapter 12: Prepositions

  12.5 para
 12.5.
           I
          II
para
para in the sense of direction
para with infinitive

  12.5 para

The preposition para means mostly for.

Esta llave es para aquella puerta. = This key is for that door.
Este regalo es para Jaime. = This gift is for

In exceptions it means also to. These exceptions are
para meaning direction (to, towards)
para in infinitive constructions

  I. para meaning direction

In sentences that use for, to or towards as prepositions of direction it is para in Spanish.

Le apresaron en un barco que partía para Argentina.
= They imprisoned him in a boat that left for (towards) Argentina.

Cirujanos militares checos partieron para Afganistán.
= Czech military surgeons left for (towards) Afghanistan.
Todos los que se van para el infierno es porque no lo saben.
= All that go towards hell do it because of not knowing.
Seis batallones van para la frontera.
= Six battalions go towards the front.
¿Por qué Intel se va para Malaysia?
= Why does Intel go to Malaysia?

In these constructions para can be substituted by hacia

El tren partió hacia (para) Malaga.
= The train left for (towards) Malaga.

Las tropas se metieron en marcha hacia (para) el Iraq.
= The troops set off for (towards) Iraq.

Note that these three sentences do not have the same meaning.

Vamos a Italia. = We go to Italy.

Vamos para Italia. = We go towards Italy.
Vamos hasta Italia. = We go until Italy.

  II. para in infinitive constructions
Para preparar una torta se necesita por lo menos harina.
= You need at least some flour to bake a cake.
Para saber si funciona hay que hacerlo.
= You need to do it to know whether it works.
Para vivir bien se necesita un poco de dinero.
= You need some money to live well.

para is used in infinitive constructions that tell what to do, is needed, is wanted etc. to do, to get, to achieve something else.

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