Conjunctions in Spanish: What they are and how to use them

A conjunction is a word that joins words, phrases, or clauses together. There are three types of conjunctions in Spanish: coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions.  Let see how they work.

List of conjunctions in Spanish

Spanish Coordinating Conjunctions

A coordinating conjunction connects words or clauses of similar kind or function

  • Y (and)
  • O (or)
  • Pero (but)
  • Pues (then)
  • Entonces (thus, so)
  • Sino (but)

Take note that when the conjunction ‘y’ is placed before a word that starts with ‘i’ or ‘hi’, ‘y’ changes to ‘e’ to avoid pronouncing successive ‘i’ sound and thus ease pronunciation. Similarly, the conjunction ‘o’ changes to ‘u’ when used before a word that starts with ‘o’ or ‘ho’.

Juego el tenis y leo libros cada fin de semana (I play tennis and read books every weekend). 

Habla francés, alemán, español e inglés (He speaks French, German, Spanish, and English)

Vive en Colombia pero todavía no habla bien español (He lives in Colombia but he doesn’t speak good Spanish yet).

Isabel no es argentina, sino uruguaya (Isabel is not from Argentina, but from Uruguay).

Subordinating Conjunctions in Spanish

Subordinating conjunctions connect a dependent (subordinate) clause to an independent (main) clause. Here are a list the commonly used subordinating conjunctions in Spanish:

  • tan pronto como (as soon as)
  • como (as, since)
  • porque (because)
  • antes (de) que (before)
  • aunque (even though)
  • asi que (therefore)
  • bien que (even though)
  • como quiera que (since, although)
  • si (if)
  • así (just as)
  • además (also)
  • en cuanto (as son as)
  • en caso de que  (in case)
  • mientras que (while, whereas)
  • siempre que (provided that)
  • para que (so that)
  • que (that)
  • a menos que (unless)
  • hasta que (until)
  • cuando (when)
  • sin que (without)
  • a pesar de que (in spite of)
Below you can find some examples of  sentences with subordinating conjunctions:

No puede jugar al tenis porque está enfermo (He can’t play tennis because he’s sick).

Veré la película si no estoy ocupado este fin de semana (I will watch the movie if I’m not busy this weekend). 

Mi  perro siempre ladra  cuando llama el cartero (My dog always barks when the postman calls).

Ana fue a trabajar a pesar de estar enferma (Ana went to work in spite of being sick).

Notice that some of these expressions need to follow by a subjunctive tense, get in touch with your tutor if you need to know which one and how. Don’t you have a Spanish online tutor yet?

Visit the link to practice subordinating conjunctions with flashcards

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions show the relationship between different ideas in a sentence and are always used in pairs. 

  • o…o (either…or)
  • ni…ni (neither…nor)

Ni Rosa ni  Paula fueron elegidas para el trabajo (Neither Rosa nor Paula were chosen fo the job).

Él es un tonto muy listo (He is either a stupid or very clever).

Conjunctions in Spanish Exercises

Here you have some activities to practice everything you have learned above. Just choose the right conjunction for each sentence in the activity. Remember you can contact your tutor if you have any questions. Don’t you have a Spanish online tutor yet?

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