pay for = para?

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by 4prender, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. 4prender Member

    United States
    I'm not sure when to use the word "para" meaning "for", especially after I looked at these sentences:

    1. I pay for the house.
    Traducción: Yo pago la casa.

    Could the translation also be: Yo pago para la casa.

    Another example:
    2. She pays for the books.
    Traducción: Ella paga los libros.

    Could the translation also be: Ella paga para los libros.

    So, when should you include or omit ¨para¨from sentences?

    Muchas Gracias todo el mundo.
  2. déjame_en_paz! Senior Member

    Keep in mind that when you are learning certain verbs, you have to learn the prepositions that automatically come with them. Not everything in English is going to translate directly the same in Spanish. Let me give you some examples...
    The following verbs DO NOT regularly have prepositions in Spanish, but DO have prepositions in English:
    Pagar - pagué los billetes - I paid for the tickets. This verb does not NEED "for" because it is somehow already implied in the verb itself, therfore there is no translation for "for" in this case.
    Buscar - Busco mi libro - I am looking for my book. Notice "for" doesn't have a translation.
    Escuchar - Escucho la música - I am listening to the music. Notice "to" does not exist.
    Esperar - Espero el autobús - I am waiting for the bus. "for" does not exist.
    Mirar - Miro el cielo - I am looking at the sky.

    On the other hand: Este regalo es para ti. This gift is for you.

    By the way, there are many other verbs that do not have prepositions following them, keep this in mind. I hope this helps
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  3. 4prender Member

    United States
    Thanks a lot, you´re explanations are perfect.´

    Would it be correct to include prepositions like ¨a¨¨and ¨para¨after verbs that do not regularly need them? It seems like ¨para¨is used only when you need to distinguish between the subject of the sentence and the indirect object or the receiver.
  4. déjame_en_paz! Senior Member

    As far as I know, the verbs above never have any prepositions directly after them. Therefore, you can't say:
    Yo pagué para mi libro. <----- bad! It's simply yo pagué mi libro. I paid for my book.
    You could say: Te pagué (a ti) la cuenta. Only because in Spanish the "personal a" rule must be used. But of course "a ti" can be omited. You can say: te pagué la cuenta. I paid you the bill.

    Here are some more verbs that do not regularly have the English equivilant prepositions:
    Pedir - Pido un libro [to ask for] I am asking for a book. "for" does not exist after this verb.
    Lograr - Ella logró hacerlo - She succeeded in doing it.
    Aprovechar - Ella no quiere aprovechar la oportunidad. She doesn't want to take advantage of the opportunity. "of" doesn't exist after this verb.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  5. canton Senior Member

    Colombian Spanish
  6. déjame_en_paz! Senior Member

    Another way to look at your question:
    "por" is used for exchange:
    - "pagué mil dólares por esa lámpara"
    - cuatro por cuatro son dieciséis:tick:
    - la primera pregunta de "jeopardy" es por cien puntos
    - cuesta cinco dólares por galón

    De acuerdo, pero yo diría: cuatro por cuatro son dieciséis. ;)
  7. xnavar Senior Member

    Spain Spanish
    En la frase pago la cuenta, "la cuenta" es el complemento directo y, por lo tanto, no lleva preposición.
    En español, el complemento directo sólo lleva preposición cuando es una persona:
    Busco mi libro.
    Busco a Juan.
    La manera más fácil de reconocer un complemento directo y, por lo tanto, saber si tiene que llevar preposición o no, es pasar la oración a pasiva:
    La cuenta es pagada por mí; mi libro es buscado por mí; Juan es buscado por mí.
    En todos estos casos, la frase tiene sentido, por lo tanto: cuenta, libro y Juan son complementos directos.
    La preposición para se usa en el complemento indirecto:
    Compro un libro para Juan (pasiva: un libro es comprado por mí para Juan). Aquí se ve con claridad que libro es el complemento directo y Juan el indirecto.

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