Unit 11.1

Adversative and Distributive Coordinated Sentences



A coordinated sentence [oración coordinada] is a compound sentence made up of two or more sentences joined by conjunctions or conjunctive locutions (sets of words that function as conjunction).

Coordinated sentences are classified as copulatives, disjunctives, adversatives and distributives [copulativas, disyuntivas, adversativas y distributivas].

The adversative coordinated sentence [oración coordinada adversativa] is made up of sentences that oppose each other through conjunctions.

The distributive coordinating sentence [oración coordinada distributiva] joins two independent sentences that indicate distribution or alternation.


Coordinated sentences are classified according to their function and the type of nexus that links them.

Two types of coordinated sentences are the adversatives and the distributives.

Adversative coordinated sentences

Adversative coordinated sentences are made up of two sentences whose information is opposed to each other.

The conjunction pero usually connects them:

Sentence + pero + sentence.

Distributive coordinated sentences

Distributive coordinated sentences are made up of sentences whose information represents alternatives.

They are linked with coordinating nexuses such as uno… otro…:
Uno + sentence + , + otro + sentence.


Adversative coordinated:

  • En este país hace mucho calor, pero también nieva;
  • La capital tiene muchos monumentos, pero no tiene playa;
  • El abogado era bueno, pero no salvó a su cliente.

Distributive coordinated:

  • Unos creen en la religión, otros son ateos;
  • Unos van a la iglesia, otros van al fútbol;
  • Unos votaron al presidente, otros no le votaron.


Adversative coordinated sentences are used to indicate opposition or contrast between two sentences.

Distributive coordinated sentences are used to indicate a reference or alternative actions that are not mutually exclusive.


In Spanish, there are several types of sentences composed by coordination, i.e. two sentences that do not depend on each other but are independent. Two types of coordinated sentences are:

  • Adversatives are two sentences that oppose each other through the conjuction pero;
  • Distributives  are two sentences that indicate alternation, saying unootro

For example:

— «Me gusta mucho el dulce, pero estoy a dieta» = the two sentences oppose each other;

— «Unos prefieren estudiar en casa, otros en la biblioteca» = there is an alternation between one sentence and the other.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.


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