#1  
Old July 30, 2008, 01:27 PM
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Por siempre / para siempre

This thread reminded me of a question I've been meaning to ask a native Spanish speaker about for years, but I always forget.

The question concerns para siempre and por siempre. If I understand correctly, para siempre is the "correct" way to say forever, but I hear por siempre from native speakers as well.

What is the difference between the two? Which is more common? Is there a slight difference in meaning?

Gracias!
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  #2  
Old July 30, 2008, 01:39 PM
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I've heard

por siempre jamás as meaning forever

and

para siempre = for always

Now I am confused....
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Old July 30, 2008, 02:31 PM
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Both are correct
RAE
para siempre.
1. loc. adv. Por todo tiempo o por tiempo indefinido.
Me voy para siempre

por siempre.
1. loc. adv. Perpetuamente o por tiempo sin fin.
Por siempre sea alabado y bendito

But they are usually used different. "para" is more for a life, an event of the person who speak or is talked.
"por" is more for things that will happen without the speaker. So Elaina's "por siempre jamás" is all the time, forever.

"Los novios se juntaron para siempre, y como recuerdo de su amor brilló una estrella por siempre jamás"


Te amaré para siempre: all the time (of their lives)
la estrella existirá por siempre: all the time (of the universe). (I know stars are not eternal, but it's an example)

saludos

Last edited by sosia; July 30, 2008 at 02:38 PM.
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Old July 30, 2008, 04:20 PM
Alfonso Alfonso is offline
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What a difficult question!
Of course, both are correct, as Sosia said. But they are used differently.
The most common, no doubt (at least here, in Spain) is para siempre.
Por siempre is only for really advanced Spanish speakers, as not every colocación (I don't know what to call this in English, ¡t's a technical term) is always accepted.
Maybe por siempre is a literary usage of para siempre that has overcome other usages (but I cannot state this, I should make a research on it).


Anyway, por siempre conveys the idea not only of forever but also of continuously, and you can use it also in the past, meanwhile you can use para siempre only in the future.
  • He vivido aquí (por) siempre.
  • He vivido aquí para siempre.
  • Me voy de aquí para siempre.
  • Me voy de aquí por siempre
Hey, this is interesting. We'll have to check it!
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Old July 30, 2008, 09:32 PM
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Interesting replies.

So far we have:
  1. Por siempre and para siempre are very close in meaning, but not exactly the same.
  2. They cannot always be used interchangeably.
  3. Para siempre is more common, por siempre more used in literature.
Para siempre
  • Forever
  • Always
  • For an indefinite time
Por siempre
  • Forever
  • Perpetually
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