Language Guide
Conjunctions
Spanish Conjunctions

Spanish Conjunctions

Quick Answer

Conjunctions (las conjunciones ) join two coordinating parts of a sentence together.

Here are a few of the most common conjunctions you'll come across in Spanish.

Common Spanish Conjunctions

SpanishEnglish
y
 
and
e
 
and
o
 
or
u
 
and
pero
 
but
mas
 
but
sino
 
but, rather
entonces
 
then
ni…ni
 
neither…nor
o…o
 
either…or
sea…sea
 
either…or
¿Quieres una manzana o una naranja?
Do you want an apple or an orange?
 
Hablo inglés y español.
I speak English and Spanish.
 
Quiere aprender italiano, pero no tiene tiempo.
He wants to learn Italian, but doesn’t have the time.
 

Tricky Conjunctions

Pero, Sino, and Mas

These three conjunctions can all be translated as but, but they're not interchangeable.

Pero and Mas

Pero and mas mean but and are used to contrast two statements. However, mas is considered to be more literary, and is something you're much more likely to see in formal writing.

Quieren viajar a Costa Rica, pero no tienen suficiente dinero.
They want to travel to Costa Rica, but they don’t have enough money.
 
Soy joven, mas no soy ingenuo.
I'm young, but I'm not naïve.
 

Sino

Sino also means but, but is used to introduce an affirmation that contrasts a previous negative statement.

Mi hermano no es alto, sino bajo.
My brother isn’t tall, but short.
 
No vino a escuchar, sino a cantar.
I didn’t come to listen, but to sing.
 

Y and E

When y comes before a word that begins with a i- or hi-, it changes to an e.

Y does not change to e before words that begin with hie-.

Hablo español e inglés.
I speak Spanish and English.
 
Necesito productos de limpieza e higiene.
I need cleaning and hygiene products.
 
Hay que ponerle azúcar y hielo al té.
We need to add sugar and ice to the tea.
 

O and U

When o comes before a word that begins with a o- or ho-, it changes to an u.

¿Quieres ir a Nueva York u Orlando?
Do you want to go to New York or Orlando?
 
Debes decir "buenos días" u "hola".
You should say "good morning" or "hello."
 

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