Using à or para when giving (dar)

Apologies if this has already been answered on the forum. I have tried searching, and "A" or "para" with verbs of motion? does explain the difference between à and para with the logic being that longer-lasting motion requires para but shorter-duration motion can make do with à.

However, I’m struggling with two examples from the verb section for Dar:

  • tu dás a laranja à criança
  • eu dou as minhas roupas para caridade

Can anyone help me understand why it is à in the first example and para in the second? The logic about duration of a movement doesn’t seem to work here (I assume it isn’t much more time consuming to hand stuff over to a charity than it is to pass an orange to a kid). Is it because the clothing is in plural? Or because “charity” is a more vague term than “kid”?

@Tomas, the verb dar isn’t considered a verb of motion, so the comments on the other thread wouldn’t apply in this case.

In European Portuguese, when we’re referring to giving something to someone/something else, we use “dar a” by default. In cases like “dar para caridade”, what I personally understand is that we’re not focusing on who/what we’re giving it to specifically, but on the purpose we’re giving it for. The distinction is more obvious if we compare the following two phrases:

  • Dar para caridade → give to charity (describing the general purpose of helping someone)
  • Dar a uma instituição de caridade → give to a charity (describing giving something to a specific institution)

Note: In Brazilian Portuguese, “dar para” is the norm in all cases.


That makes sense, and I can see that they are actually two different concepts. Giving to vs giving towards (I just made that up, but it might help me remember the shorter a for to vs the longer para for towards). Muito obrigado @Joseph for taking the time to explain.

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