And/Or are not always so simple in Spanish

Hi, dear Spanish lovers!
We’re here to talk about two conjunctions that are used all the time (really all the time), but we tend to overlook a particularity that the Spanish language has with the copulative conjunction ‘‘y (and)’’ and the disjunctive conjunction ‘‘o (or)’’.
What usually happens is that several times we find an ‘‘e’’ or a ‘‘u’’ between two words and we doubt if it’s a mistake or if there is something hidden that escapes us. The truth is that the Spanish language has a way to avoid this kind of cacophony generated by the conjunctions ‘‘y’’ and ‘‘o’’ when the following word begins with exactly the same sound, by putting an ‘‘e’’ instead of a ‘‘y’’ and a ‘‘u’’ instead of an ‘‘o’’ in these copulative and disjunctive conjunctions, respectively.
To exemplify this, let’s look at this image:


As you can see, whenever the word following the copulative conjunction is a consonant or a vowel other than ‘‘i’’, the ‘‘y’’ will be maintained (since both ‘‘y’’ and ‘‘i’’ sound the same in Spanish). Similarly, the disjunctive conjunction ‘‘o’’ will be maintained whenever the following word begins with a consonant or another vowel. Otherwise, the ‘‘y’’ will be replaced by an ‘‘e’’ and the ‘‘o’’ by a ‘‘u’’.

What did you think of this particular detail of the Spanish language? Did you know it? Did it help you? Feel free to comment!

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