This is an extension of the question What is the difference between using "de" and "que" for the English word "to"?

Consider the sentence "You have one minute to choose":

Tienes un minuto para elegir.

Taking the information from the other question I would've assumed that para would be de because it is an informative statement. I don't think que can be used because it's not an obligation (I think).

So why is para being used? And can you flesh out the differences between que and para as well.

  • In English one could also say "You have one minute for to choose" which is a more direct translation from Spanish, but in English it's a bit archaic.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 18:09
  • "For to choose" is incorrect. You could perhaps say "for choosing" but "for to choose" is ungrammatical. In English prepositions simply are not followed by to-infinitives.
    – Aprendedor
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 1:50

2 Answers 2


If you use de in the sentence above, wouldn't it change the meaning to:

You have one minute of choice

It doesn't make much scene, but consider this:

Tienes un minuto de paz / You have one minute of peace

Here para is used to denote purpose, destination or need, while de is used to indicate possession. I think this difference can also be clearly seen in those two examples:

Tengo una copa de vino / I have a cup of wine
Tengo una copa para vino / I have a cup for wine

They both have different meaning and one cannot be a substitute for the other.

As for que I can't really think of an example where it can be confused with para.
You may check this link http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/que_relative_pronouns.htm and try to memorize which preposition is used in what situation.


It's a peculiarity of the English language that you have 40 minutes for lunch, but 40 minutes to eat it.

In Spanish we use for (para) always, that's all. 40 minutos para el almuerzo y 40 minutos para comerlo.

  • 1
    The reason "to" is used in the second case is because it's part of the to-infinitive "to eat." Unlike Spanish, English frequently uses such infinitives as adjectival modifiers.
    – Aprendedor
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 1:52

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