Conjunctions (Linking Words)
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    Conjunctions - linking words  
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Video Lesson
Summary of Lesson
Conjunctions explained and a look at certain definitions. Looking specifically at those conjunctions that we use in speech all the time and which need very little explanation.
Looking at some other common conjunctions and which are probably the most useful.
Looking at other less common conjunctions but which can be used in certain specific situations.
Looking specifically at correlative conjunctions (paired conjunctions).
  What you can learn from this lesson
To have a good understanding of what conjunctions are and how they are used to link words and sentences.
Being aware of the technical differences between different types of conjunctions.
Knowing which conjunctions in Spanish are the most common and which form an important part of nearly all speech.
Knowing and remembering what some other very useful Spanish conjunctions are and when they are used.
Appreciating how many Spanish conjunctions are used in specific situations and as such are much less common.
Knowing how correlative conjunctions function and being aware of the most common.
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The first part of this lesson explains what conjunctions are and gives some background information on the different types of conjunctions that exist in Spanish and English. It then goes on to look at some of the most common examples of conjunctions that are used.


What is a conjunction?


A conjunction is a word or word phrase that connects one part of a sentence to another part or sometimes one sentence to a previous sentence. The conjunction links two parts of a sentence so that together they make grammatical sense.


Mi abuelo y yo fuimos a la librería.  My grandfather and I went to the book shop.


In the above sentence the word ‘y’ (and), is the conjunction. Without this word the sentence wouldn’t make sense.


Correct terminology


In both English and Spanish there are several different names given to different types of conjunctions in order to distinguish how they link different types of sentences together. There are more Spanish classifications than there are in English.


In this lesson very little distinction will be made between types of conjunctions as for the majority of students this information is of little or no importance. However for technical reference the traditional English classifications for three different types of conjunctions are as follows:


1) Coordinating conjunctions


Used to connect words or sentences that are the same grammatically or which are of the same type. In the following sentence the conjunction ‘o’ (or), connects two words which are of the same type.


 ¿(Tú) estás viniendo en marzo o febrero?  Are you coming in March or February?


2) Subordinating conjunctions


Used to connect a dependant word or clause to other words so that the words together communicate what is intended. In the following sentence the conjunction ‘porque’ (because), is used to connect the first clause to the second which makes the intention of the entire sentence clear.


 Me levanté temprano porque tenía que trabajar. I got up early because I had to work.


3) Correlative conjunctions


These are paired conjunctions that act to make a connection between words or phrases. This is the only distinction that is made between the different types of conjunctions that are looked at in this lesson.


(Yo) no tengo ni tiempo ni paciencia. I neither have time nor patience.


Most common Spanish conjunctions


Without actually realizing it you are probably already aware of what the most common Spanish conjunctions are. This is because they are used frequently in everyday conversation.




Example sentences



¿Qué quieres para desayunar, cereal o salchichas?



What do you want for breakfast, ceral or sausages?



Me gustaría probar uno pero estoy a dieta.



I would like to try one but I'm on a diet.



(Yo) tengo que trabajar porque necesito el dinero.



I need to work because I need the money.


than / that

Él espera que vengan.



He hopes that they come.



Es mejor tener, que no tener nada .



It´s better to have than to have nothing .



(Yo) estudiaría duro si yo fuera tú.



I would study hard if I were you.

y (e)


Mi madre y mi padre se casaron hace treinta años.



My mother and my father got married thirty years ago.



Nos veremos cuando (Yo) regrese mañana.



We'll see each other when I get back tomorrow.



Things to note:


1)      The preposition si (if), does not take an accent mark to differentiate it from the pronoun (himself, herself etc.) See the lesson on possessive adjectives and pronouns for more details.

2)      Use ‘e’ instead of ‘y’ (and) when positioned in front of words beginning with i or ‘hi’ but not hie for example; hijo e hija (son and daughter).

3)      Don’t confuse porque (because), with por qué (why).




The second part of this lesson looks at some of the most common Spanish conjunctions that you will come across which haven’t already been looked at in part one of the lesson. These types of conjunctions are used less frequently but are still very useful.




Example sentences

a menos que


Ven conmigo a menos que (tú) quieras quedarte.



Come with me unless you want to stay.

así que


Tenemos visitantes así que limpia la casa.



We have visitors so clean the house.


even though / though / although

Lo revisé aunque no fue necesario.



I checked it even though / though / although it wasn't necessary.

con tal que

as long as

(Yo) te puedo prestar dinero con tal que me lo devuelvas.



I can lend you money as long as you pay me back.

debido a

as a result of / due to

Hay inundaciones debido a las tormentas.



There are floods as a result of / due to the rain.



¿(Tú) quieres algo mientras estás esperando?



Do you want anything while you are waiting?

mientras que


(Tú) tienes que pagar mientras que (yo) no.



You have to pay whereas I don't.

por eso/tanto


Él no tiene una licencia; por eso (yo) voy a manejar.



He doesn't have a license; therefore I'm going to drive.


then / well

¡Estoy borracho! Pues, deja de tomar.



I'm drunk. Then stop drinking.



Pues, como (yo) estaba diciendo.



Well, as I was saying.

sin embargo


Hay cinco galones, sin embargo no son míos.



There's five gallons, however they're not mine.





The third part of this lesson looks at some other conjunctions which are useful in certain situations. In reality there are many more conjunctions in the Spanish language than those we will look at here but most of them are either very specific or are not used very often.




Example sentences

no obstante


Él confesó, pero no obstante todavía se fue a la cárcel.



He confessed but nevertheless he still went to prison.

en caso de que

in case (that)

Dale esto a mi esposa en caso de que (yo) no regrese.



Give this to my wife in case (that) I don't come back.


but / rather

No es un problema, sino un reto.



It's not a problem, but / rather a challenge.

o sea

in other words

Él me dijo que no puede. ¡O sea él no quiere!



He said he can't. In other words he doesn't want to.

Como si

as if, as though

Ella está actuando como si fuera una princesa.



She's acting as if / as though she were a princess.

a pesar de que

despite the fact

Él se fue a pesar de que (yo) le dije no.



He left despite the fact I told him not to.



Como (yo) estoy pagando (yo) tengo el derecho de ir primero.



As I'm paying I have the right to go first.

aun así

even so

Es muy grande. Aun así no va a caber.



It's really big. Even so, it's not going to fit.





The final part of this lesson looks at correlative conjunctions. As already mentioned in part one of this lesson these are paired conjunctions that act to make a connection between words or phrases. Not many of these types of conjunctions are used in either Spanish or English (one is being used right here)!




Example sentences


No vienen, ni Elsa ni su amiga.



Neither Elsa nor her friend is coming.



Ellos pueden o se quedan o se van.



They can either stay or leave.



No me importa ya si (tú) me dices ya no.



I don't care whether you tell me or not.


That concludes this lesson on conjunctions. If you have not done so already watch the actual video for this lesson and then try one of the associated quizzes to test your understanding.

Conjunctions (Linking Words)
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