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Para is used…

to signify destination

                 e.g. Mario va para la escuela. – Mario is going to the school.

to show the use or purpose of a thing

                 e.g. El libro es para estudiar. – The book is for studying.

meaning: "in order to," "for the purpose of"

                 e.g. Sal de la casa para conocer a amigos. – Leave the house (in order to) make friends.

to indicate a recipient

                 e.g. Este paquete es para usted. – This package is for you.

to specify a deadline or time

                 e.g. La tarea debe estar completa para el miércoles. – The homework should be done by Wednesday.

when expressings something contrary to what was expected

                 e.g. Para un niño es muy intelegente. – For a child, he is very intelligent.

expression: estar + para + infinitive – expresses an action that will soon be completed

                  e.g. La niña está para cumplir trece años. – The child is about to turn thirteen.

Both para is used in many common expressions and phrases. Here are some good examples:

para siempre forever
para dónde where to
estar para to be about to
para adelante forward
para detrás backward
para abajo downward
para entonces by that time
ser tal para cual to be two of a kind