Para in Portuguese

Example with para in Portuguese: Vamos para o Porto Maravilha!

What’s up! Are you ok? In today’s Dica we are going to talk about when to use Para in Portuguese, and about the contraction pra in Portuguese vs para. Ready for one more free Portuguese lesson for foreigners?

When to use Para in Portuguese

To begin with, let’s learn when to use the preposition para in Portuguese. We use it in the following cases:

  • Movement towards a destination

Eu vou para a escola.
I go to school.

  • A goal you are trying to achieve

Ele trabalha muito para viajar.
He works a lot in order to travel.

  • To talk about deadlines, and opinions.

A entrega do documento é para amanhã.
The delivery of the document is for tomorrow.

Para mim, essa decisão é boa.
For me, this decision is good.

  • Indicate a person who is receiving something.

Eu comprei um presente para você.
I bought this gift for you.

Pra in Portuguese vs Para

In Portuguese, the word para is often pronounced as pra. This is a contraction of this preposition, but we have more than one that we’ll explain in a bit. Let’s begin with pra. We can replace para a for pra before feminine or neutral words. Take a look here:

Ele vai pra Portugal.
He’s going to Portugal.

Eu vou pra Colômbia.
I’m going to Colômbia.

Portugal is a neutral country, so pra means only para here. Colômbia is a feminine country, so pra means para a.

Para + definite articles

As we told you, according to the word you’re using after the preposition para, we can use a different contraction. If the next word is feminine pra or pras (in the plural), and if it’s masculine pro or pros (in the plural). These contractions are used when we speak or write informal messages. It’s not correct to use them in formal contexts, only informal.

Contractions with the preposition Para. Feminine: Pra, pras. Masculine: Pro, pros.
Contractions with the preposition Para

So, let’s go a little deeper with some examples.

Examples with Para in Portuguese

Take a look at these examples using the 4 contractions you’ve learned above:

Vou comprar um livro pra você.
I will buy the book for you.

Ele quer viajar pra conhecer a Europa.
He wants to travel in order to get to know Europe.

Ele comprou um presente pra nós.
He bought a present for us.

Ela trouxe um livro pra mim.
He brought a book for me.

Ela quer um lápis pra ele.
She wants a pencil for him.

Vou para a praia; Vou pra praia.
I am going to the beach.

Ele comprou um presente pra namorada.
He bought a present for his girlfriend.

Ele vai pra rua com os amigos.
He goes out on the street with his friends.

Ela foi pra festa sozinha.
She went to the party alone.

Nós fomos pra casa da Marina juntos.
We went to Marina’s house together.

Eles vão pra Bahia amanhã.
They are going to Bahia tomorrow.

Vou pro Rio.
I am going to Rio.

Ela vai pro Ceará.
She is going to Ceará.

Ele foi pro Canadá com os amigos.
He went to Canada with friends.

Ele comprou um presente pro pai.
He bought a present for his father.

Compramos esse livro pro João.
We bought this book for João.

Eles fizeram um favor pro Paulo.
They did a favor for Paulo.

Now, take a look at Moisés’ video, understand better and practice your Portuguese.

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Para + indefinite articles

We can also create contractions with the indefinite articles in Portuguese, that is, when you can’t specify what exactly you’re talking about. Pay attention, theses contractions are also only used in informal contexts, as we told you above. Let’s learn the indefinite articles:

Indefinite articles in Portuguese. In Portuguese there are four indefinite articles. The indefinite articles in the singular form are: Um and Uma. The indefinite articles in the plural form are: Uns and Umas. A table with the indefinite articles divided into singular, plural, masculine and feminine.
Indefinite articles in Portuguese

Now that you know the indefinite articles, take a look at the contractions using them:

Para + umPrum
Para + umaPruma
Para + unsPruns
Para + umasPrumas



Eu vou prum lugar paradisíaco nas férias.
I will go to some paradise on vacation.

Ele vai pruns lugares estranhos no Brasil.
He goes to some weird places in Brasil.

Eles vão pruma festa muito legal.
They go to some really cool parties.

Ela sempre vai prumas baladas incríveis!
She always goes to some amazing nightclubs.

Practice listening 

Before you go, listen to the audios and practice repeating the contractions you’ve just learned.










Exercises with Para in Portuguese

Exercise 1:

Complete the sentences using the preposition Para and its contractions:

  1. No Natal, eu sempre dou presente ______ meninos de rua.
  2. Às vezes, eu vou ______ praia no Rio de Janeiro.
  3. Eu sempre dou ótimos presentes ______ meu marido.
  4. Eu ainda escrevo cartas ______ minha prima.
  5. Eu sempre ligo ______ meus amigos.
  6. Ele vai ______ Ilhas Maldivas.
  7. Ela dá as roupas usadas ______ vizinha.
  8. Ela manda mensagem ______ amigas todos os dias.
  9. Trabalho 40 horas semanais ______ sustentar minha família.
  10. Ela se esforçou muito ______ ter bons resultados na prova.

Exercise 2:

Complete with the contractions of the preposition para in Portuguese:

  1. No Natal, eu sempre dou presente _______ meninos de rua.
  2. Às vezes, eu vou ______ festas diferentes no Rio de Janeiro.
  3. Eu sempre dou ótimos presentes ______ meu marido.
  4. Eu ainda escrevo cartas _____ minha colega.
  5. Eu sempre ligo ______ meus amigos.
  6. Ele vai _____ país do Oriente Médio. Não lembro qual é.
  7. Ela dá as roupas usadas ______ vizinha. Não sei o nome dela.
  8. Ela manda mensagem ______ amigas todos os dias.

Exercise 3:

Try to fill in the blanks with the correct form of “para” based on the context:

  1. Eu comprei um presente ___ você.
  2. Nós vamos ___ a escola agora.
  3. Ele estudou muito ___ passar no exame.
  4. Ela viajou ___ Paris no verão.
  5. Ele fez um bolo ___ o aniversário de sua mãe.
  6. Estou economizando dinheiro ___ comprar um carro novo.
  7. Preciso ir ___ casa mais cedo hoje.
  8. Eles estão caminhando ___ o parque.
  9. Isso é essencial ___ a saúde dele.
  10. Ela disse ___ mim que vai se mudar.

That’s it! Now you know all about this preposition, and the difference between pra vs para. See you in the next Dica!

Bye, bye from Rio de Janeiro!

Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Portuguese Prepositions
Prepositions of Place in Portuguese
Preposition Por in Portuguese
Preposition De in Portuguese

Answers 1:

  1. pros
  2. pra
  3. pro
  4. pra
  5. pros
  6. pras
  7. pra
  8. pras
  9. pra
  10. pra

Answers 2:

  1. pruns
  2. prumas
  3. pro
  4. pra
  5. pros
  6. prum
  7. pruma
  8. pras

Answers 3:

  1. Eu comprei um presente para você.
    • Translation: I bought a gift for you.
    • Explanation: “Para” is used here to indicate the recipient of the gift.
  2. Nós vamos para a escola agora.
    • Translation: We are going to school now.
    • Explanation: “Para” shows direction or destination.
  3. Ele estudou muito para passar no exame.
    • Translation: He studied a lot to pass the exam.
    • Explanation: Here, “para” expresses purpose.
  4. Ela viajou para Paris no verão.
    • Translation: She traveled to Paris in the summer.
    • Explanation: Indicates the travel destination.
  5. Ele fez um bolo para o aniversário de sua mãe.
    • Translation: He made a cake for his mother’s birthday.
    • Explanation: Shows the purpose or reason for making the cake.
  6. Estou economizando dinheiro para comprar um carro novo.
    • Translation: I’m saving money to buy a new car.
    • Explanation: “Para” is used to express the reason for saving money.
  7. Preciso ir para casa mais cedo hoje.
    • Translation: I need to go home earlier today.
    • Explanation: Indicates the destination.
  8. Eles estão caminhando para o parque.
    • Translation: They are walking to the park.
    • Explanation: Shows the direction they are heading.
  9. Isso é essencial para a saúde dele.
    • Translation: This is essential for his health.
    • Explanation: “Para” is used to indicate benefit or necessity for something.
  10. Ela disse para mim que vai se mudar.
    • Translation: She told me that she is going to move.
    • Explanation: “Para” here is part of a common expression “dizer para” meaning “to tell.”

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