Easy Learning Spanish

y, o, pero, porque and si - Easy Learning Grammar Spanish

  • y, o, pero, porque and si are the most common conjunctions that you need to know in Spanish:
  • y       and
el coche y la casathe car and the house
  • Note that you use e instead of y before words beginning with i or hi (but not hie).
Diana e IsabelDiana and Isabel
madre e hijamother and daughter
BUT
árboles y hierbatrees and grass
  • o       or
patatas fritas o arrozchips or rice
  • Note that you use u instead of o before words beginning with o or ho.
diez u onceten or eleven
minutos u horasminutes or hours
  • In the past, ó was routinely used instead of o between numerals to avoid confusion with zero, so you may come across it.
37 ó 3837 or 38
  • For more information on Numbers, see Numbers.
  • pero       but
Me gustaría ir, pero estoy muy cansado.I’d like to go, but I am very tired.
  • Note that you use sino in direct contrasts after a negative.
No es escocesa, sino irlandesa.She’s not Scottish but Irish.
  • porque       because
Ha llamado porque necesita un libro.He called because he needs a book.
  • Note that, except in answers to ¿por qué...? (why...?) questions, you don’t use porque at the beginning of a sentence; you should use como instead.
Como está lloviendo no podemos salir.Because or As it’s raining, we can’t go out.
TipBe careful not to mix up porque (meaning because) and por qué (meaning why).
  • que       that
Dice que me quiere.He says that he loves me.
Dicen que te han visto.They say that they’ve seen you.
Sabe que estamos aquí.He knows that we are here.
TipIn English we can say both He says he loves me and He says that he loves me, or She knows you’re here and She knows that you’re here. You can NEVER leave out que in Spanish in the way that you can leave out that in English.
  • si       if, whether
Si no estudias, no aprobarás.If you don’t study, you won’t pass.
¿Sabes si nos han pagado ya?Do you know if or whether we’ve been paid yet?
Avisadme si no podéis venir.Let me know if you can’t come.
TipThere is no accent on si when it means if. Be careful not to confuse si (meaning if) with (meaning yes or himself/herself/yourself/oneself/themselves/yourselves).

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