According to the fact that we use "por" for the time discussions, for example:

for the time being => por el momento.

But could we sometimes use "para" in this context?! for example:

El Real Zaragoza tiene cantera para mucho tiempo.

So in consequence, which one is correct? "Por" or "Para"?

  • For your second example I would have said hace mucho tiempo but I will leave it to one of the Spanish speakers to elucidate.
    – mdewey
    Mar 7, 2020 at 13:43
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    @mdewey it has a different meaning: it means that Real Zaragoza has a good future based on their 'cantera'. It is like saying 'tenemos abuelo para mucho tiempo' when we talk about a healthy grandpa that we expect to live many years
    – fedorqui
    Mar 7, 2020 at 14:14
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    @mdewey what fedorqui said, and: if you want to talk about the past, you would need to use "El Real Zaragoza tiene cantera desde hace mucho tiempo", as "hace mucho tiempo" means "a long time ago", and "desde hace mucho tiempo" means "for a long time" (in the past).
    – wimi
    Mar 7, 2020 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


The use of "por" and "para" with durations has very different meanings.

"Por+duration" indicates the duration of an action or status. Some speakers (including me) prefer the use of durante for this purpose, but por is also correct and has been used since the Middle Ages, according to Fundéu. For example:

  • No podrá jugar [por/durante] mucho tiempo (He won't be able to play for a long time)

  • El Zaragoza ha tenido una buena cantera [por/durante] mucho tiempo. (The Zaragoza team has had a good reserve of young players for a long time)

"Para+duration" is used specifically to mean that a resource or a supply will last for the specified amount of time:

  • Los excursionistas se llevaron comida para tres días (The hikers took with them food for three days)

  • El Zaragoza tiene cantera para mucho tiempo (Zaragoza's youth team will provide players for a long time)

Although I have used "mucho tiempo" in most of the examples, this works for any duration expression, such as "cinco años".

  • Thanks dear @wimi for your comprehensive explanation. Now I understand it well.
    – Armin
    Mar 7, 2020 at 15:18

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