Last week I was in Sevilla, where I saw this homeless person with humor: on his cardboard box were written the words

para compra Ferrari

enter image description here

While the message was clear ('for buying a Ferrari'), when I saw it, I was wondering if that was grammatically correct. After all, I learned that para needs to go with the infinitive of the verb, so I expected it must be 'para comprar Ferrari' rather than the third person singular compra. What's the matter here?

1 Answer 1


While doing research for this question, I found that compra here is not a verb, but rather a noun:


compra f (plural compras)

  1. purchase
  2. buying

(source: Wiktionary)

So my translation was still correct, but so is the message on the box.

  • 7
    That is one possibility. Another possibility is a spelling mistake due to the fact that, in the south-Spanish accent, the final "r" of verbs is often not pronounced. "Para comprar (un) Ferrari" sounds more natural and less "telegram style" to me than "Para (la) compra (de un) Ferrari". But both are possible, nice find!
    – wimi
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 7:51
  • I live in Seville, and I can assure you there usually are lots of spelling mistakes in those cardboxes. The sentence should be "para comprar (un) Ferrari".
    – Charlie
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 8:49
  • @Charlie thanks. In that case, you might be able to provide a definitive answer to my other question about Sevilla. It's a lovely city (at least with the weather we had last week, which was perfect except for running the marathon :))
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 8:52
  • Really? You had to look this up? :) [spelling mistakes on those cardboard boxes] The sentence "should be" para comprar? Harrumph. Al pueblo le suda un c*****. Os equivocais. El tío debería de haber puesto: Pa' comprar un Ferrari. Así suena más popular. La gente habla y escribe de su manera. No hay que mesclar todo.... –
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 15:54
  • @Lambie yes, I had to look this up; I'm following Duolingo for just a few months and am only about to complete checkpoint 3 (about 40% of the course).
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 16:30

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