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Connective Words in Spanish

Instructor: Elena Sacramento Lechado

Elena has a PhD in linguistics from University of La Laguna (Spain). Currently, she teaches Spanish as a foreign language and creates teaching resources.

Do you need to complete a writing task in Spanish, but find yourself lost looking for the right connective words? Would you like to enrich your writing? In this lesson you will learn about connective words and how to use them adequately.

What Are Connective Words?

Connective words (also called linking words or conectores in Spanish) are words that link or connect different ideas or arguments within a text. They help us enrich our descriptive or narrative texts, giving flow to our accounts, and avoiding a plain or unrelated sequence of sentences.

Take a look at the following text:

  • Ayer desayuné. Llamé a mi amiga Ana. Llovía. No pudimos ir a jugar al tenis. Decidimos hacer un plan en mi casa. Vimos películas y comimos palomitas. Jugamos a videojuegos. No pudimos salir de casa. Fue un día genial.

Translation: 'Yesterday I had breakfast. I phoned my friend Ana. It was raining. We couldn't play tennis. We decided to make a plan in my house. We watched movies and ate popcorn. We played videogames. We couldn't leave the house. It was a great day'.

What have you noticed? There are barely any connective words, so the text is just a sequence of sentences. In texts like this, the reading becomes boring and repetitive.

Now take a look at the same text with a few changes:

  • Ayer desayuné y llamé a mi amiga Ana. Como llovía, no pudimos ir a jugar al tenis. Por eso, decidimos hacer un plan en mi casa. Vimos películas y comimos palomitas. Además, jugamos a videojuegos. A pesar de que no pudimos salir de casa, fue un día genial.

Translation: 'Yesterday I had breakfast and I phoned my friend Ana. Since it was raining, we couldn't play tennis. So, we decided to make a plan in my house. We watched movies and ate popcorn. Also, we played videogames. Despite not being able to leave the house, it was a great day'.

All the words in bold are connective words. There is a linking between the actions, which creates a flow of ideas and gives more information to the reader.

Let's analyze the different types of connective words.

Types of Connective Words

Addition

Addition connective words add extra information about an idea.

Connective Words Pronunciation Translation
y eeh and
además ah-deh-MAHS moreover, as well
también tahm-BYEHN also
incluso een-KLOO-soh even

Use y in an enumeration. For example, when listing adjectives or actions.

  • Viajar en tren es seguro, agradable y barato. ('Traveling by train is safe, pleasant and cheap'.)

Viajar en tren es seguro, agradable y barato = Traveling by train is safe, pleasant and cheap.
train

You can use además or también to introduce a paragraph and incluso to emphasize:

  • Además, el uso del transporte público es una alternativa ecológica. ('Moreover, the use of public transport is an eco-friendly choice'.)
  • Toda mi familia, incluso mis abuelos, viaja normalmente en tren. ('All my family, even my grandparents, normally travel by train'.)

Opposition

We use opposition connective words to express contrast between ideas.

Connective Words Pronunciation Translation
pero PEH-roh but
aunque OWN-keh although
sin embargo,
no obstante
seen ehm-BAHR-goh,
noh ohbs-TAHN-teh
however
a pesar de (que) ah peh-SAHR deh keh in spite of/despite

Examples:

  • Me encantaría salir esta tarde, pero tengo que estudiar. ('I'd love to go out this evening, but I have to study'.)

Note: Use a pesar de + noun and a pesar de que + sentence.

  • A pesar de la lluvia, salimos a tomar algo. ('In spite of the rain, we went out and grabbed a bite'.)
  • A pesar de que llovía mucho, salimos a tomar algo. ('Despite raining a lot, we went out and grabbed a bite'.)

Cause

Use cause connective words to express the reason of an action.

Connective Words Pronunciation Translation
porque POHR-keh because
ya que,
puesto que
yah keh,
PWEHS-toh keh
since, given that
debido a que deh-BEE-doh ah keh due to
a causa de que ah KOW-sah deh keh since
como KOH-moh as

Examples:

  • Como había tormenta, no pudimos salir. ('As there was a storm, we couldn't go out'.)
  • No pude llamarte ya que no tenía cobertura. ('I couldn't call you since I was out of range'.)

Translation: We could not go out because there was a storm.
storm

Consequence

Consequence linking words express the effects or results of a given action.

Connective Words Pronunciation Translation
así que ah-SEE keh so
entonces ehn-TOHN-sehs so, then
por lo tanto, por eso pohr loh TAHN-toh, pohr EH-soh therefore
en consecuencia ehn kohn-seh-KWEHN-syah consequently

Examples:

  • Teníamos tiempo de sobra, así que preparamos un pastel. ('We had plenty of time, so we made a cake'.)
  • Si te gusta el chocolate, entonces te encantará este postre. ('If you like chocolate, then you will love this dessert'.)

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