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Para vs. Por - duration/span of time

 

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  #1  
Old December 23, 2011, 05:20 AM
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Question Para vs. Por - duration/span of time

My exercise book has a chapter on "para vs. por". They give the following examples:

In the section on "PARA":
To express a limited time span:
El tiene empleo para el verano.
Tenemos una casa reservada para dos semanas.

In the section on "POR":
To express duration of time:
Cada día trabajamos por ocho horas.
Ellos van de vacaciones por dos semanas.

I think that my tendency would have been to use "por" in all four sentences. Can someone explain to me the difference between the two uses? Thank you!!
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  #2  
Old December 23, 2011, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
My exercise book has a chapter on "para vs. por". They give the following examples:

In the section on "PARA":
To express a limited time span:
El tiene empleo para el verano.
Tenemos una casa reservada para dos semanas.

In the section on "POR":
To express duration of time:
Cada día trabajamos por ocho horas.
Ellos van de vacaciones por dos semanas.

I think that my tendency would have been to use "por" in all four sentences. Can someone explain to me the difference between the two uses? Thank you!!

I agree with you.

The example given by the book can be used depending the context, what I am not sure if the book is right on the explanation is giving...

Last edited by chileno; December 23, 2011 at 06:56 AM.
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Old December 23, 2011, 06:59 AM
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So, could you say: "Él tiene empleo por el verano." Or, "Ellos van de vacaciones para dos semanas." ?? Or is one (por vs. para) preferable in these types of sentences...?
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Old December 23, 2011, 07:11 AM
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I can't help noticing that the two 'para' examples are both for the future. One 'por' is past,and the other indefinite.
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Old December 23, 2011, 07:24 AM
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Tenemos una casa reservada por dos semanas. Si no pagamos dentro de 14 días la reserva quedará cancelada. La casa está reservada para tres semanas; las tres primeras semanas de enero.

Colloquially we could have used "por tres semanas".

Él tiene empleo por el verano. Luego vuelve a estudiar en la universidad.
Él tiene empleo para el verano. Está preocupado porque todavía no ha conseguido empleo desde otoño en adelante.

Colloquially we could have used "sólo por el verano".
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Old December 23, 2011, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
So, could you say: "Él tiene empleo por el verano." Or, "Ellos van de vacaciones para dos semanas." ?? Or is one (por vs. para) preferable in these types of sentences...?

Although, Ellos van de vacaciones para (las) dos (primeras) semanas en Enero

And like Alec said, we would use "por" anyway.
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