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Estar por + Infinitive Verb (About to)

In this lesson, we would like to talk about a very simple formula that native Spanish speakers use when they wish to express their intention or inclination to do something. Let's take a look at it:


The verb estar (to be) + the preposition por + infinitive verb


Now, let's take a look at the following clip to see how that formula works:


Tu hija se está por casar con un buen hombre.

Your daughter's about to get married to a good man.

Caption 17, Provócame - Piloto

 Play Caption


When Patricia says to Ignacio, "Tu hija se está por casar con un buen hombre," she is saying: "Your daughter is about to get married to a good man." That said, the meaning of estar por hacer algo is: "to be about to do something," or have the intention to carry out the action of the infinitive verb. Note that the reflexive pronoun se in Patricia's sentence is part of the reflexive verb casarse (rather than having any association with estar). That said, she could have just as well have said: "Tu hija está por casarse."




Let's look at another example:


Ya estoy por pensar que Urrutia sí es quien dice ser.

I'm about to think that Urrutia really is who he says he is.

Caption 24, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 4

 Play Caption


In this example, we can see that Rubio is "about to think" something.  In this context, our formula expresses that Rubio "feels tempted" or "is inclined" to think that what Urrutia says is true. 


Note that in some Spanish-speaking areas, estar por + infinitive would more likely be used to indicate that one is in the mood to do something or has the intention to, while in other regions, estar para + infinitive is the more common way to say that some action will soon take place.


Finally, keep in mind that in some parts of Latin America, people might use estar por + infinitive as an alternative way of saying estar a punto de (hacer algo). Let's look at an example of how this same idea of being "about to" do something can be expressed with different words:  


Está por llover (It's about to rain).

Está a punto de llover (It's about to rain).


That's all for this lesson. We hope you've learned something new today, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments. ¡Hasta la próxima!




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