Use These 24 Spanish Connectors to Sound Like a Native Speaker
When learning a foreign language like Spanish, one of the most underrated ways to sound more like a native speaker is by connecting words and sentences with locuciones conjuntivas, or Spanish connectors.
They’re the words that make logical connections between what you’re saying and provide clarity, in any language.
They can be simple words like and or but, but also multi-word connectors, like:
- I like my independence. On the other hand, I would like some help learning Spanish. (por otro lado)
- I’m looking to improve my Spanish. That’s why I’m reading this article. (por eso)
- “Since I want to actually be able to speak Spanish in conversations, I started learning chunks instead of words and grammar rules.” (Visto que) (Seriously. You should.)
Such connector words not only make you sound more fluent; they also give you more confidence to speak and help your conversation partner understand your train of thoughts, even if your Spanish isn’t perfect yet.
In fact, it fits perfectly into my “Spanish for Beginners” strategy to get fluent fast.
That’s why I created this article, which will help you add 24 Spanish connectors to your arsenal that’ll help you ace those conversations in Spanish.
(See what I did there?)
PS: There are some very basic connectors (or conjunctions) like y (and) and o (or); those are covered in a separate article on Spanish conjunctions. If you're a complete beginner, start there. If you're ready to sound even more natural when speaking Spanish, this is the article for you.
1. Spanish Connecting Phrases to Present and Connect Ideas
Whenever you're in a conversation with someone, it’s important to connect new ideas or arguments smoothly. Otherwise, you might lose your audience's attention. Even, if you’re telling a story, it’ll help you keep listeners engaged.
There are plenty of these Spanish connecting phrases but here you’ll learn just the most common and important ones.
The most common Spanish connectors
|Por otro lado||On the other side / On the other hand|
|De hecho||In fact|
|Sumado a||Added to…/ In addition to|
|Sobre todo||Above all|
|Por si fuera poco||As if that were not enough|
|Del mismo modo||In the same way|
There are other lists of Spanish connectors on the internet, but they often don't come with example sentences. Let's fix that and use those Spanish connector words in some day-to-day situations and scenarios that might come up when visiting Spanish-speaking countries.
Spanish connectors in everyday situations
|Me gustaría hacer una reservacion para dos. Asimismo, incluir el servicio de habitación.||I would like to make a reservation for two. Also include room service.|
|De hecho, quiero me devuelvan mi dinero.||In fact, I want my money back.|
|Por otro lado, me gustaría un poco de ayuda.||On the other hand, I would like some help.|
|No me gusta mucho el chocolate. Es más, no me gusta el dulce.||I don't really like chocolate. What's more, I don't like sweet food.|
|Sumado a buscar efectivo, necesitamos buscar un taxi.||In addition to looking for cash, we need to look for a taxi.|
|Por si fuera poco, el tiempo de espera es muy largo.||As if that were not enough, the waiting time is very long.|
|En ese restaurante podemos pagar del mismo modo que lo hemos hecho antes.||In that restaurant, we can pay the same way we have done before.|
All of these chunks can be helpful when traveling or when having a conversation with some Spanish-speaking individual. At first sight, they seem long and difficult but we can assure you that with only a couple of minutes of practice, you’ll be ready to have a pretty smooth conversation.
De hecho, if you feel overwhelmed by longer Spanish sentences, it might be worth it to learn fixed word combinations (we call them chunks) as a whole instead of focusing on single words, like hacer una reservación (make a reservation), or mucho gusto (nice to meet you).
Learning chunks has been the single most effective strategy for me to not just learn Spanish, German, and other languages, but also speak them without translating in my head.
It’s been equally helpful to the hundreds of thousands of students who took a Conversation Based Chunking™ workshop to accelerate their language learning.
If you seek to learn more about learning Spanish through chunking, you can request your free Spanish Chunking Starter Pack. It comes with a chunking tutorial, flashcard decks, demo lessons, walkthrough videos, and other recommended resources.
2. Spanish Connecting Chunks to Express Emphasis
Expressing emphasis in Spanish is important to explain your thoughts more clearly. In this section, you’ll show you just two Spanish connector words that are among the most used by native Spanish speakers.
Watch any video, movie, series, or listen to native speakers speak in real life or on a Spanish podcast, and you'll hear those all the time.
Spanish connector chunks to express emphasis
|Mejor dicho||Better said|
These two Spanish connectors are amazing to highlight something and explain better what you want to say. For example, when you visit a doctor and you need to explain your symptoms. Or, when you are eating at a restaurant and you need to provide specific instructions about what you want to eat.
Let’s see some other Spanish chunks to use in these situations.
Más bien and mejor dicho in other situations
|Estoy un poco resfriado. Más bien, tengo fiebre y dolor de garganta.||I'm a bit cold. Rather, I have a fever and a sore throat.|
|No me gustan los helados. Mejor dicho, no me gustan los helados de frutas.||I don't like ice cream. Better said, I don't like fruit ice cream.|
|Quisiera un té sin azucar. Más bien, con Splenda.||I would like tea without sugar. Rather, with Splenda.|
|Me gustaría algo de tomar. Mejor dicho, algo para tomar y refrescarme.||I'd like something to drink. Better said, something to drink and cool off.|
|Tenemos que comprar medicinas. Más bien, deberíamos ir ya a la farmacia.||We have to buy medicine. Rather, we should go to the pharmacy now.|
As you may see, these chunks will come in handy not only in emergencies but when having a seat at some place to eat and communicating what you want to eat. After all, most Spanish learners find it difficult to order something to eat.
For that reason, they just stick to basic things like Hamburgers, nuggets, or something they may find in their hometown.
Keep in mind that if you visit a Spanish-speaking country, there are several delicious alternatives to having a great meal. And, you probably won’t find those kinds of dishes are your hometown. Por eso (that’s why) it’s always good to improve your Spanish skills and open up to whole new gastronomy.
Por cierto (by the way): if you'd like to see many of these connectors in action, here's a video from Spring Spanish (a Spanish YouTube channel and learning platform I co-founded) where teacher Paulisima tells a story in Spanish about a trip to Singapore. Good listening practice.
See if you can spot some connectors.
3. Spanish Connecting Chunks to Express Cause and Effect
In some situations, expressing cause and effect might become an essential thing to do when speaking Spanish. Let’s imagine a scenario where something happens but you don’t know how to explain why it happened.
Using Spanish connectors to add up ideas to express cause is a wonderful alternative to achieve your goal.
Some of these Spanish connectors are shown below.
Spanish connectors to express cause and effect
|Por eso||That’s why|
|Por esta razón||For this reason|
|Por lo tanto||Therefore|
|Así pues||So / So that|
|De ese/este modo||In this/that way|
|A causa de que||Because of that|
|Dado que||Given that|
Please note that most of the causal connectors use the preposition “que”. In this context, “que” will help us keep two sentences and ideas connected without losing the meaning of the whole structure.
Now, let’s see some other chunks that’ll help you in your daily life.
More Spanish chunks to use in everyday situations
|Me siento mal. Por lo tanto, deberíamos ir al medico.||I feel bad. So, we should go to the doctor|
|Deberíamos de comprar un sueter ya que hace mucho frío.||We should buy a sweater since it's very cold|
|Disculpe, ya que no tengo efectivo ¿Acepta pagos con tarjeta?||Excuse me, since I don't have cash, do you accept card payments?|
|Visto que no hay taxis ¿Me podría decir donde esta la parada de bus más cercana?||Since there are no taxis, could you tell me where the nearest bus stop is?|
|Dado que somos 3 personas, me gustaría solicitar una habitación triple.||Since we are 3 people, I would like to request a triple room.|
Don’t forget that if you speak to someone you don’t know, you should use “usted” and keep a formal/respectful speaking tone. The third Spanish phrase shown above is a great example of this.
4. Spanish Connecting Phrases to Express Conditions
Expressing conditions is important even more when you’re negotiating or setting plans to travel. It will help you get what you want, from the right accommodation to the right services and supplies. There are many ways of expressing conditions in Spanish.
But, the most used Spanish connector is “si” (if) and “solo si” (only if). Thus, if you want to get a Native-speaker Spanish level, you’ll definitely keep these under your sleeve.
Let’s look at some Spanish chunks using these two connectors.
Spanish connector chunks to express conditions
|Quiero esa habitación solo si el desayuno está incluido.||I want that room only if breakfast is included.|
|¿Te gustaría salir si deja de llover?||Would you like to go out if it stops raining?|
|Hagamos un picnic el fin de semana si tienes tiempo libre.||Let's have a picnic on the weekend if you have free time.|
|¿Me ayuda con una dirección? Solo si puede y tiene tiempo disponible.||Can you help me with an address? Only if you can and have time available.|
|Pediré postre solo si hay torta de chocolate.||I will order dessert only if there is chocolate cake.|
5. Spanish Connecting Chunks to Make Comparisons
Finally, we have some Spanish connector words that will help you make comparisons and express your ideas with ease. They might help you when visiting a new store and you’re looking for a product similar to the one you’ve seen before.
Making comparisons can even help you sound more interesting and keep everyone paying attention to what you’re saying.
Spanish connectors to express comparisons
|Antes que||Rather than|
|Al igual que||Just like|
|Tal como||Just like/ such as/ as|
Below, you’ll find some Spanish phrases that will help you face some day-to-day tourist challenges when visiting Spanish-speaking countries.
Spanish phrases to use in day-to-day tourist challenges
|Prefiero ir al cine en taxi antes que en autobús.||I prefer to go to the cinema by taxi rather than by bus.|
|Quiero una habitación doble al igual que ese cliente.||I want a double room just like that client.|
|El trafico en esta ciudad es tal como el de mi ciudad.||The traffic in this city is just like the one in my city.|
|El hotel no es tal como en fotografías.||The hotel is not as in photographs.|
6. Mastering Spanish Connectors: Enhance Your Speech and Conversations Like a Native
Generally speaking, Spanish connectors help us lead the conversation to where we want and need. With these Spanish connectors, you can not only improve your speeches but express many things. For example, conditions, cause, add new ideas, contrast, and make comparisons. Keep in mind that you can start your statements with all of these connecting chunks. But, if you want to connect two statements, you would use the connecting phrase between the main argument and the secondary statement.
To continue your journey, make sure to request your Spanish Chunking Starter Pack so you’re not just learning connector words, but entire Spanish sentences start rolling off your tongue when speaking with native speakers… all without translating in your head 🙂