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Spanish Grammar Lesson: The vowels “o” and “u”

Join our sometimes pedantic, other times annoying, but always informative linguist in today’s Spanish lesson. He’s going to explain why and when to use the conjunctions “o” and “u” in Spanish.

 

Read the transcript here:

Hola, amigo Lingüista. ¿Cómo estás?
Hello my linguist friend, How are you?

Muy mal, me duele el estómago.
Very bad, my stomach hurts.

¿Por qué? ¿Qué has comido?
Why? What did you eat?

Mmm, bueno, en el desayuno comí unos 7 u 8 panes con mantequilla y después bebí unas 7 u 8 tazas de chocolate caliente.
Mmm, well, for breakfast I ate about 7 or 8 pieces of bread with butter and then I drank about 7 or 8 cups of hot chocolate.

¿Cómo es posible que hayas podido comer 7 o 8 panes con mantequilla y después tomar 7 o 8 tazas de chocolate caliente? ¡Es increíble!
How is it possible, you´ve eaten about 7 or 8 pieces of bread with butter and then you drank 7 or 8 cups of hot chocolate?

Nooo…, comí 7 u 8 panes y tomé 7 U 8 tazas de chocolate.
Nooo…, I ate 7 or(u) 8 pieces of bread and I drank 7 or(u) 8 cups of hot chocolate.

¿7 u 8? ¿No se dice 7 o 8?
7 or(u) 8? Don´t you say 7 or(o) 8?

Cuando la palabra que sigue a la conjunción “o” empieza por “o-” o empieza por “ho-“se cambia la conjunción “o” por “u”.
When the word that follows the conjunction “or” begins with a vowel “o” or starts with “ho-” the conjunction changes from the vowel “o” to “u”.

Por ejemplo: ¿Helsinki u Oslo?, ¿ayer u hoy?
For example: Helsinki or (u) Oslo? , Yesterday or (u) today?

Entiendo amigo lingüista, entonces comiste 7 u 8 panes y bebiste 7 u 8 tazas de chocolate caliente. Mmmm, creo que has comido como un glotón.
I understand my linguist friend, then you ate 7 or(u) 8 pieces of bread and drank 7 or(u) 8 cups of hot chocolate. Mmmm, I think you’ve eaten like a glutton.

 

If you would like to deepen your knowledge of Spanish grammar, I’d like to invite you to investigate our General Spanish Course. You will be assigned a workbook, and you’ll have access to audios, videos and Spanish reading lessons, which you can use to complement your online Spanish program for beginners to advanced level students.

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