spanish conjunctions

Lesson 5: Spanish Conjunctions


Conjunciones (Spanish conjunctions)

  • Spanish conjunctions are invariable words that we use to join two or more phrases or two words within the same phrase or two sentences creating different relations between them.




Coordinating Conjunctions

  • They join sentences that don´t depend on each other, they are independent. Each part has the necessary elements to form a sentence. Coordinating Spanish conjunctions are used when we want to join two phrases that have the same level of importance in our speech, both ways are equally important.


Within this kind of conjunctions, there are the following alternatives:


-Adversative conjunctions:

They express opposition or difference between the sentences connected:

mas, pero, sino (but)aunque (although, even though) sin embargo (however) 


Este es un cuchillo pequeno pero pesado (This is a small, but heavy knife)

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Marcela aprende Ingles aunque no lo necesita. (Marcela learns English although she doesn´t need it.)

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 -Consecutive conjunctions

 Whenever one sentence is a consequence of the other:

pues, pues que, puesto que luego, (so, therefore),  


El nino llora pues le tiene miedo a la bruja.(The kid cries because he is afraid of the witch.)

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-Copulative conjunctions:

The conjunctive relation of units that expresses the addition of their meanings: y, e, ni.

y, e*, ni

Note: * Remember than when the word following the copulative conjunction “y” begins with the vowel “i” or the silent letter “h” followed by the vowel “i”, then the conjunction is replaced by “e”.


La nina y el nino fueron al jardin de infantes

 (The girl and the boy went to the kindergarten)


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- In this case we are using the coordinative conjunction “y” to join two objects within the same phrase.

Fuimos al parque y jugamos al futbol alli. (We went to the park and we played football there).

-         In this example, we are using the coordinative conjunction “y” to join two different phrases: “fuimos al parque” with “jugamos al futbol alli”

 Susana e Hilario fueron a comer a un restaurant.(Susana and Hilario went to have dinner to a restaurant).

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-Distributive conjunctions:

They show alternation or distribution


bien...bien, o…o, tanto ….. como (either or) ya...ya (whether or) 




Tanto Mariano como Juan juegan bien al futbol. (Either Mariano or Juan play football very well.)

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-Disjunctive conjunctions:

They show option

o, u* (or) 


Note: * Remember than when the word following the disjunctive conjunction “o” begins with the vowel “o” or the silent letter “h” followed by the vowel “o”, then the conjunction is replaced by “u”.



Ella quiere un sandwich o una hamburguesa. (She wants a sandwich or a hamburger)

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Subordinating Spanish conjunctions

Subordinating Spanish conjunctions are used to join two phrases when one of them depends on the other.

Within the subordinating Spanish conjunctions we have the following variables:


-Cause conjunctions


They express that one sentence is the cause or reason of the other:


porque, pues, pues que, ya que, como, como que (because, since, as, because of…)


 Ella esta feliz porque paso el examen(She is happy because she passed the exam.)


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-Comparative conjunctions

These conjunctions only make comparisons


asi como, asi tambien, de modo que, tal como (as) 




Juan es bajo asi como Sebastian.


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-Concession conjunctions

This relation states a difficulty for the main action to be implemented; however, this obstacle does not prevent the action from happening.


aunque, por mas que, a pesar de que (although,  even though, though)



El trabaja como policia a pesar de que es una ocupacion peligrosa.(He Works as a policeman although it is a dangerous job)


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-Condition conjunctions

The subordinated phrase expresses the condition so that what is expressed in the main phrase can happen:


a menos que, si, con tal que o de, a condicion (if, supposing, unless)






Iremos a la playa a menos que llueva.(We´ll go to the beach unless it rains).


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-Purpose conjunctions:

They express the purpose of the main phrase in the subordinated phrase.

a que, para que, para, a fin de que (to, so as to)




Ella va al teatro para cantar.(She goes to the theater to sing).


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-Mode conjunctions:


It uses an adverb of mode in its construction


conforme, como, segun, de modo que, de manera que (as, as per, according to)




Escribe como un poeta. (He writes as a poet).


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-Time conjunctions:


Within the sentences, there is an adverb or an expression of time:


Cuando (when) aun no, no bien (as soon as)desde que (since)luego que, despues que (after)antes que (before),  mientras que (while, meanwhile)




Ha estado llorando desde que llego.(She has been crying since she arrived).

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Coordinating conjunctions

1)      Give the correct conjunction from among the choices given.


  1. Alli vienen el autobus (y, e) Hilario. (There comes the bus and Hilario)
  2. El compro no solo el vino (pero, sino, sino que) tambien las verduras. (He not only bought the wine but the vegetables as well)
  3. Tengo siete (o, u) ocho ejercicios para terminar la tarea. (I have seven or eight exercises to finish my homework).
  4. No le gusta Matematicas, (pero, sino, sino que) sabe que es util. (He doesn´t like Maths but he knows it is useful).
  5. Hable con Juan (o, u) con Ignacio, no recuerdo bien. (I talked to Juan or to Ignacio, I can´t remember very well).
  6. Susana no es muy brillante en los estudios,  (pero, sino, sino que) Maria si.
  7. No solo interrumpieron la clase (pero, sino, sino que) hicieron mucho ruido. (They not only interrupted the class but they made a lot of noise)


Subordinating conjunctions

2) Correct the following sentences:


  1. Pero hace mucho calor, iremos a la playa.(Si hace ….) (If it is too hot, we´ll go to the beach).
  2. Cuando a lo acordado, nos reuniremos el proximo martes. (Conforme a lo acordado….) (as per what we agreed, we´ll meet next Tuesday).
  3. Esta muy feliz no bien paso el examen (Esta muy feliz porque…) He is very happy because…)
  4. Ella va al colegio mientras aprender. (Ella va al colegio para…) She goes to school to learn.
  5. Lloro toda la tarde, si que se fue la madre. (Lloro toda la tarde, desde que ….). She cried the whole afternoon, since her mother left.


3) Odd one out and say what type of conjunctions are the correct ones.


Porque (because), cuando (when), aun no, no bien (as soon as) — time conjunctions


A menos que (unless), salvo que (unless), para (to) — condition conjunctions


Luego que (after), despues que (after), a pesar de que (although) — time conjunctions



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