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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Rosa here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Spanish questions.
The question for this lesson is…
When do you have to use the conjunction u instead of o?
First, let’s go over some background information on how to use o.
O is a conjunction in Spanish that means “or.” It’s a conjunción coordinada disyuntiva or “disjunctive coordinating conjunction.” That means, it connects two different sentences and is used to give contrast or connect contrary opinions. An example of contrast would be:
¡Sal a trabajar ahora o no llegarás a tiempo! meaning “Go to work now or you are not going to be on time!” Here, that means if Part A, “go to work” doesn’t happen, Part B, “you are not going to be there on time,” will happen.
An example of connecting contrary opinions would be:
¿Qué quieres de postre helado o fruta? meaning “What do you want for dessert, ice cream or fruit?” This is the most common use of o.
Now, on to the question for this lesson. O changes to u when “or” precedes a word that begins with an o sound. This includes “h” and “o” together because “h” is silent in Spanish.
Let’s go through some examples so you can learn when to use u instead of o.
First up, Más vale que vengas a la hora u otra persona te quitará el sitio. meaning “You better come on time, or another person is going to take your place.” Here, the word otra, “another” begins with an “o” sound. Therefore, we change o to u.
Another example would be:
Puede utilizar esta mesa para jardín u hogar. meaning “You can use this table for the garden or home.”
So why do the words change? That’s easy. Because it’s easier to pronounce!
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
¡Hasta luego! “See you later!”


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SpanishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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What Spanish learning question do you have?

Spanishpod101.com Verified
Sunday at 05:53 AM
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Hola Nattana,

Great! Please let us know if you have any questions.

Sigamos practicando.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Nattana Johnson
Friday at 01:49 AM
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Thanks, very helpful!