Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday February 26, 2014

por, preposition:
because of; for

One of the basic ways you can use por is to specify the cause of something. In that meaning it’s often translated because of:

Tuvieron que suspender el partido por el mal tiempo.
They had to call off the match because of the bad weather.

You can also use por in set phrases with certain nouns, such as temor and casualidad:

No se lo dije por temor a ofenderla.
I didn’t tell her for fear of offending her.

Nos enteramos por pura casualidad.
We found out quite by chance.

To indicate ‘cause’, you don’t only use por with nouns. You can also use it with adjectives:

Eso te pasa por tonto.
That’s what you get for being stupid.

And you can also use por with verbs in the infinitive. For instance, a TV presenter might thank a guest by saying:

Muchas gracias, Cristina, por haber estado aquí con nosotros.
Thanks for being with us, Cristina.

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