Spanish Conjunctions


In this lesson you'll learn how to use conjunctions in the Spanish language. You'll Also learn the common Spanish conjunctions.

A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, and clauses together. Some examples of conjunctions in English are and, or, but, and if. This lesson covers both coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.


Coordinating Conjunctions

A coordinating conjunction is a word that joins two elements of equal grammatical importance, such as two nouns, adjectives, verbs, phrases, or independent clauses. An independent clause is a group of words that has one subject and can make a complete sentence.

The following table shows the common Spanish coordinating conjunctions.

y and
o or
pero but
sino but (rather, instead)
entonces and so, then

When y is followed by a word that starts in i or hi, but not hie, y becomes e. Similarly when o is followed by a word that starts in o or ho, it becomes u.


Puedes quedarte o puedes ir. You can stay or you can go.
Se ríen y lloran. They laugh and they cry.
Son madre e hija. They are mother and daughter.
Me gustaría ir, pero estoy muy cansado. I'd like to go, but I am very tired.

Correlative Conjunctions

A correlative conjunction is a pair of words that that join together two words or groups of words of equal importance in a sentence. Below is a list of some common correlative conjunctions in Spanish.

no sólo _____ sino _____. not only _____ but _____.
o _____ o _____. either _____ or _____.
ni _____ ni _____. neither ______ nor _____.
tanto _____ como _____. both ______ and _____.


O voy yo o vas tú. Either I go or you go.
Tanto ella como su hermana son médicas. Both she and her sister are doctors.
No tengo ni hermanas ni hermanos. I have neither sisters nor brothers.

Subordinating Conjunctions

A subordinating conjunction joins an independent clause and a dependent clause. A dependent clause is a clause that cannot form a complete sentence by itself, but adds information to the sentences main idea. Subordinating conjunctions are often used in sentences that show cause-and-effect, or a shift in time or place.

The following table shows a list of Spanish subordinating conjunctions.

a menos que unless
antes de que before
como as
con tal que provided that
cuando when
debajo de under, beneath
desde que since
después de que after
dondequiera que whenever
en cuanto as soon as
hasta que until
mientras while, as long as
para que so that
porque because
que that
si if
siempre que whenever
sin que without
una vez que once
ya que since


Si llueve, nos quedaremos en casa. If it rains, we'll stay at home.
Puedes venir si quieres. You can come if you want.
Como llegaban se presentaban. They introduced themselves as they arrived.
No voy porque no quiero. I'm not going because I don't want to.
Ella estaba aquí cuando llegué. She was here when I arrived.
Ha llamado porque nececita un martillo He called because he needs a hammer.
Sabe que estamos aquí. She knows that we are here.
Cuando entré estaba leyendo. She was reading when I came in.
Ella seca los platos mientras yo los lavo. She dries the dishes while I wash them.



Translate the following questions into Spanish.

the dogs and the cats

the dogs or the cats

if it rains

but I am tired

because I don't want to