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Which one would be the preposition of choice when discussing the number of times something happened? Examples:

I saw her for the third time. She is visiting me for the first time.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You should use por in most of the cases.

La he visto por tercera vez.

Me visita por primera vez.

I cannot think of any case where you would use para for a number of times type of sentence.

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“por tercera vez” or “por la tercera vez”? Any reason for omitting the article here? – TheLearner Apr 3 '14 at 12:39
I think you would use either the article of the preposition but not both. "Es la tercera vez que la veo" / "Es la tercera vez que me visita" – Muttley75 Apr 3 '14 at 12:39
So would it also be correct to say, “La he visto la tercera vez.”? – TheLearner Apr 3 '14 at 12:41
That sentence is not correct. You should either say "La he visto por tercera vez" or "Es la tercera vez que la veo". The first "La" refers to you "Yo la he visto ..." and the "por" is going to qualify the time, as a number, as a chance "la he visto por casualidad". But using twice "la" is not correct, at least on this example. – Muttley75 Apr 3 '14 at 12:46

Anytime you refer to time at all, you will use por.

If you were to say

Escribí una caricatura para tres minutos

It would suggest that you drew a cartoon FOR 3 minutes, not as in time, but rather, for, as in a gift. In other words you would be drawing a cartoon as a favor to 3 Minutes, as if it were a person/business/entity/etcetera... named "3 Minutes"

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