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What's the difference between "favor de" and "por favor"?.

Examples:

Favor de lavarse las manos después de ir al baño.

Por favor lávese las manos después de ir al baño.

Hazme el favor de sacar la basura.

Por favor saca la basura.

3 Answers 3

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They are very similar, and in most situations they can be translated by "Please, ..."

"por favor" is equivalent to "please" (as adverb, not verb). Typically at the start or end of the phrase, often separated by a comma.

Por favor, saca la basura = Please, take out the rubbish.

Saca la basura, por favor = Take out the rubbish, please.

"Haz/Hazme el favor de [...]" is rather equivalent in meaning, though gramatically different: it requires the article 'el', and the preposition 'de' which connects with the requirement (an alternative: "Hazme el/un favor: saca la basura"). It can also be a little more aggresive (as "Do me a favour:"), but not necessarily.

"Favor de" is more impersonal, to be used in announcements, signs, etc. It's gramatically similar to the previous one, as it implies an ellicited verb "[Haz/Haced/Hagan] el favor de [...]", see above - but the omition suggests that we are not asking anyone in particular.

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    "Favor de ..." looks like a (wrong) online translation: I guess the meaning but ... it sounds terrible! I'm from Spain, I wonder which countries such expression is used.
    – Ra_
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 15:53
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Hazme el favor de sacar la basura.

Do me a favor and take out the rubbish (please)

Por favor saca la basura.

Please take out the rubbish

As for your other two examples, they are pretty much equivalent. I would translate them both as:

Please wash your hands after going to the bathroom

However, the first example could be thought of more as:

After going to the bathroom, do me the favor of washing your hands

The use of 'favor de' without the verb hacer afterwards is more common in some areas than others. I never hear it in Argentina yet I think it might be more common in Spain (correct me if i'm wrong)

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    In Spain I've always heard "por favor" or "hacer el favor de + infinitive". I've never heard something like "hazme favor de" (without "el") or just "favor de".
    – Javi
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 8:01
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    Hazme favor de + infinitive" is very common in Mexico. Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 17:40
  • Hacer el favor de como indica el compañero "javi" es un uso incorrecto del imperativo, debe utilizarse Haga/Haced/Hagan/Haz(me).
    – user12951
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 9:57
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The idiom "***Favor de...***· is most commonly used in American public signage that alert the public about some desire or undesirable behavior that expected of the reader.

For example, A sign that reads

Favor de no disponer de toallas femeninas en el inodoro.

Warns ladies not to dispose of their feminine towels down the toilet

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  • feminine towels?
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 17:33

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