Unit 9.2

Copulative and Disjunctive Coordinated Sentences

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Introduction

The 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 copulative, disjunctive, adversative and distributive.

The copulative coordinated sentence [oración coordinada copulativa] indicates union or addition and is characterised by a copulative nexus join it y.

The disjunctive coordinated sentence [oración coordinada disyuntiva] is made up of two contradictory sentences, usually joined by the conjunction o.

Form

Two subcategories of coordinated sentences are copulative and disjunctive sentences.

In copulative and disjunctive coordinated sentences, there are cases where the nexus has to change its form.

Copulative

The conjunction y  changes to e when the following word begins with i- or hi-:
Main sentence + y / e + Coordinated sentence

Disjunctive

The conjunction o changes to u when the following word begins with o- or ho-:
Main sentence + o / u + Coordinated sentence

Example

Copulatives:

  • Estuvimos en el museo por la mañana y por la tarde fuimos al restaurante italiano;
  • Mónica es dentista y su marido es cocinero;
  • Iremos con la familia al restaurante más caro de la cuidad e imagino que habrán reservado la mesa.

Disjunctive:

  • ¿Tenemos que tomar unas copas o podemos pedir la carta directamente?;
  • O lo tomas o lo dejas, pero no nos tengas esperando que tengo hambre;
  • A saber qué darán en el restaurante chino, puede ser arroz u otra cosa.

Summary

The copulative coordinated sentence is a sentence joined by a copulative nexus to the main sentence, adding information. The disjunctive coordinated sentence is formed from two contradicting sentences, usually joined by the conjunction o. In Spanish, there are cases in which y and o change their form into e and u.

For example:
— «Vamos a cenar fuera e imagino que habrán reservado la mesa». = Copulative coordinated sentence joined by e;
— «Puede elegir arroz u otra cosa». = Disjuntive coordinated sentence connected by u.

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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