The Essential Guide to Spanish Linking Words
What are Spanish linking words?
Well, they simply make you sound better, both in speech and in writing.
Your sentences flow naturally, and your ideas logically build on each other.
Sparkle your essay with a couple of good linking words in Spanish and you’ll surely get an A.
Let’s take a closer look at Spanish linking words, different types that exist, and how to use them in a sentence.
Spanish Linking Words
Spanish linking words, also called connective words, are words and phrases you use to connect ideas in a piece of writing. We connect phrases and clauses within a sentence and sentences and paragraphs when writing, for example, an essay.
Two types of linking words exist:
- Transition words
Conjunctions connect ideas within clauses and sentences, meanwhile transition words connect sentences and paragraphs.
Keep reading as we cover the following details about Spanish connecting words:
- how and when to use them
- rules of linking in Spanish
- list of useful linking words in Spanish, organized by function
Conjunctions connect words, clauses, phrases, and sentences. These Spanish linking words can be single words or two or more words that form conjunctive expressions. In Spanish, there are two main conjunction groups:
- Coordinating conjunctions
- Subordinating conjunctions
Coordinating conjunctions connect words, phrases, clauses, and sentences of equal value. You can separate them, and they can exist individually.
Coordinating conjunctions have one of the following functions:
- express addition: y (and)
- give an alternative: o (or)
- express contrast: pero (but)
You can find a full list of coordinating conjunctions at the end of this post (with translation!), but let’s have a look at some sample sentences with coordinating conjunctions.
Me encanta tu personalidad y tu sonrisa.
I love your personality and your smile.
Puedes leer el libro o ver la tele.
You can read a book or watch TV.
La busqué pero no la encontré.
I looked for it but could not find it.
To learn more about coordinating conjunctions, check out the following articles. You can also complete a quiz and try some Spanish connectors exercises!
- 9 Coordinating Conjunctions in Spanish Essential to Know
- The Ultimate Guide to Using ‘And’ in Spanish
- What’s the Difference Between Pero and Sino?
Subordinating conjunctions are a type of Spanish linking words that introduce subordinate clauses. These clauses cannot exist by themselves, and they depend on the main clause. The tricky part about subordinating clauses is whether to use the indicative or subjunctive mood, which is determined by the linking word you use.
There are 9 types of subordinating conjunctions. As I mentioned before, there’s a full list of them at the end of this post with information about what mood should be used, but let’s have a quick look at some of the Spanish linking words in each of these groups.
1. Causal Conjunctions
These connective words introduce a clause with a reason or cause of the action in the main clause. They translate to “because,” “since,” or “as.” For example, como:
Como a Pedro no le gusta caminar, siempre viaja en carro.
Since Pedro doesn’t like walking, he always travels by car.
2. Conjunctions of Comparison
These Spanish linking words compare information in two clauses. For example, como si (as if):
Hace flexiones como si fuera un gran atleta.
He does push-ups as if he was a great athlete.
3. Relative Conjunctions
Relative conjunctions, such as si or que translate to “if” or “that” in English.
No sé si lo puedo terminar a tiempo.
I don’t know if I can finish it on time.
4. Conjunctions of Concession
These Spanish linking words introduce information that contradicts the main clause. For example, aun cuando (although, even though).
Él trabaja mucho aun cuando está de vacaciones.
He works a lot, even when he’s on vacation.
5. Conjunctions of Result
Do you want to introduce the effect or consequences of the action in the main clause? Conjunctions of result are for these. For example, de modo que (that):
Hay que hacerlo de modo que sea seguro para todos.
It must be done in a way that is safe for everyone.
6. Conjunctions of Condition
Si (if), siempre y cuando (as long as) are examples of linking words used in conditional sentences.
Lo haré, siempre y cuando me devuelva el dinero.
I will, as long as I get my money back.
7. Conjunctions of Purpose
If you want to talk about intentions or goals of the verbs from the main clause, use linking words such as para que (so that)
Te lo dije para que lo hicieras tú sola.
I told you so that you do it yourself.
8. Illative Conjunctions
Illative conjunctions introduce something that can be inferred from the main clause. In English, it’s “therefore” for example, and in Spanish luego.
Pienso, luego existo.
I think, therefore I exist.
9. Conjunctions of Time
These conjunctions determine the time period of the action in the main clause. For example mientras (while):
Mientras corres, puedes escuchar música.
While you’re running, you can listen to music.
To learn more about subordinating conjunctions, check out:
- 9 Types of Subordinating Conjunctions in Spanish That Will Supercharge Your Fluency
- The Ultimate Guide to ‘Even Though’ in Spanish
Transition words connect ideas between sentences and they give a natural flow to your speech or writing. These are so-called “Spanish essay linking words” because they help to transition your ideas in a smooth way in any text.
Transition words are sometimes the same conjunctions you use to link ideas within a sentence but you have a sea of other possibilities. Depending on your purpose, you can use transition words from one of the eight groups:
See the full list of transition words from each of the above categories at the end of this post, but first, let’s see how they look in a text.
Primero, quiero contarte una historia. Allá voy, espera. Además, te quiero contar una historia que nadie antes haya oído. Es decir, vas a ser el único en saberlo. Así que, presta atención, sobre todo cuando mencione algunas fechas. Aunque, si quieres, la puedes contar después a tus propios hijos. Al fin y al cabo, esta historia ya será tuya.
First, I want to tell you a story. Here I go, wait. Also, I want to tell you a story that no one has heard before. I mean, you’ll be the only one to know it. So pay attention, especially when I mention some dates. Although if you want, you can tell it later to your own children. After all, this story will already be yours.
A List of Spanish Linking Words
Here’s a handy list of Spanish linking words in one single place!
Download the PDF and take it with you while writing essays—you’ll amaze your Spanish teacher!
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Spanish Linking Words Chart
|1.1 COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS|
|1.1.1 Coordinating Conjunctions to Express Addition|
|1.1.2 Coordinating Conjunctions to Give an Alternative|
|1.1.3 Coordinating Conjunctions to Express Contrast|
|1.2 SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTION (*- subjunctive mood should be used)|
|1.2.1 Causal Conjunctions|
|dado que||since, as|
|porque||because, since, as|
|puesto que||because, since, as|
|visto que||since, as|
|ya que||since, as|
|1.2.2 Conjunctions of Comparison|
|como si*||as if|
|1.2.3 Relative Conjunctions|
|1.2.4 Conjunctions of Concession|
|aun cuando||although, even though|
|por más que*||no matter how (much)|
|por mucho que*||as much as|
|1.2.5 Conjunctions of Result|
|así (es) que||so|
|de modo / manera / forma que||that|
|de modo / manera / forma que*||in a way that|
|1.2.6 Conjunctions of Condition|
|a menos que*||unless|
|con tal de que*||as long as|
|siempre que*||as long as|
|siempre y cuando*||as long as|
|cada vez que*||whenever|
|mientras*||if, as long as|
|1.2.7 Conjunctions of Purpose|
|para que*||so that|
|a fin de *||so that|
|1.2.8 Illative Conjunctions|
|1.2.9 Conjunctions of Time|
|luego que*||after (that)|
|2.1 TRANSITION WORDS FOR TIME|
|primero, segundo||first, second|
|en primer lugar, en segundo lugar||in the first place, secondly|
|después (de)||after, afterward|
|todavía no||not yet|
|por fin||at last|
|al final||at the end|
|al mismo tiempo||at the same time|
|para continuar||next, further|
|en conclusión||in conclusion|
|2.2 TRANSITION WORDS FOR PLACE|
|al lado de||next to|
|más allá||beyond, further|
|2.3 TRANSITION WORDS TO EMPHASIZE|
|sobre todo||particularly, especially, above all, mainly|
|efectivamente, realmente||effectively, indeed, actually, really, truly|
|de hecho||in fact, indeed, as a matter of fact|
|principalmente||especially, particularly, mainly|
|2.4 TRANSITION WORDS TO EXPLAIN AN IDEA|
|es decir||that is, I mean|
|por ejemplo||for example, for instance|
|en otras palabras||in other words|
|2.5 TRANSITION WORDS TO ADD AN IDEA|
|aparte||besides, apart from|
|de todas formas / maneras / modos||in any case, anyhow|
|de cualquier forma / manera / modo||in any case, anyhow|
|sobre todo||above all|
|2.6 TRANSITION WORDS TO SHOW A RESULT|
|como resultado||as a result|
|en consecuencia||as a consequence, accordingly|
|a consecuencia de||as a result of, because of|
|por eso / esto||therefore, for this reason, that’s why|
|por lo tanto, por consiguiente||therefore, thus|
|por esta razón||for this reason, because of this|
|2.7 TRANSITION WORDS TO CONTRAST AND COMPARE|
|aunque||although, even though|
|sin embargo||however, nevertheless|
|al contrario||on the contrary|
|a pesar de||despite, in spite of|
|aun así||even so|
|en cambio||on the other hand, instead|
|2.8 TRANSITION WORDS TO SUMMARIZE|
|en resumen||to sum up|
|para terminar||lastly, finally|
|en conclusión||in conclusión, in a nutshell|
|en síntesis||in short|
|en otras palabras||in other words|
|al fin y al cabo||all in all|
|después de todo||after all|
Después de Todo
Now that you know all types of Spanish linking words it’s time to check how they feel in a speech. Sign up today for a free class to practice your conversational skills with one of our friendly, native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala. They can give you more tips on how to improve your oral and writing skills supercharged now by Spanish connective words.
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