Intermediate Sample Chapter – Conjunctions

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LECCIÓN 2  / Intermediate

CONJUNCTIONS

Conjunctions are words that join parts of
sentences.

Here are the most common ones:
EXAMPLES
Nelson Cruz, Nolan Arenado y José
Bautista batearon muchos jonrones.

Nelson Cruz, Nolan Arenado and José Bautista hit many homeruns.
No sé cuántos vienen . . .
probablemente cinco o seis.

I don’t know how many are coming . . .
probably five or six.
Ni Costa Rica ni Panamá están en
Sudamérica.

Neither Costa Rica nor Panama are in
South America.
Yo voy al concierto de Chayanne, pero
mi novia no puede.

I’m going to the Chayanne concert, but my girlfriend can’t.
No tengo libros en mi mochila, sino
vasos, platos y tenedores.

I don’t have books in my backpack, but rather glasses, plates and forks.

Let’s look at some special cases that arise with some of these conjunctions:

When the conjunction “y” precedes a word that
begins with the letter “i” or the letters “hi,” the “y” normally becomes “e.” This change avoids having the “y” sound being swallowed up by the identical vowel sound that follows

EXAMPLES
Indiana y Kentucky
BUT: Kentucky e Indiana
Inés y Ramón
BUT: Ramón e Inés
hipopótamo y jirafa
BUT: jirafa e hipopótamo

Likewise, when the conjunction “o” precedes a word that begins with the letter “o” or the letters “ho,” the “o” becomes “u.” This change makes certain that the word “o” doesn’t become lost in the word that follows.

EXAMPLES
Ozzie o Harriet
BUT: Harriet u Ozzie
órgano o piano
BUT: piano u órgano
hotel o apartamento
BUT: apartamento u hotel

The conjunction “pero” is replaced by the word “sino” in a negative sentence when there is a direct contradiction presented.

EXAMPLES
Pitbull no es alto, sino bajo.
Pitbull is not tall, but rather short.
Hoy Sergio García no jugó bien, sino mal.
Today Sergio García didn’t play well, but poorly.
Mi hermana no tiene una colección de
muñecas, sino de estampillas.

My sister doesn’t have a doll collection, but
rather a stamp collection.
No quiero hacer vela esta tarde, sino nadar.
I don’t want to go sailing this afternoon, but
rather swim.

Note: It’s useful to remember the translation “but rather” for “sino.” We may choose not to say “but rather” in English, but if we could, it means we need the Spanish word “sino.”

If the initial part of the statement is affirmative, or if there is no contradiction presented, use “pero.”

EXAMPLES
Vamos al cine, pero no podemos cenar
después.

We are going to the movies, but we can’t go to supper afterwards.
Sergio no jugó bien, pero está contento.
Sergio didn’t play well, but he’s happy.