Difference between e and y

What is the difference between e and y in spanish?

July 14, 2014


"Y" is always used, except with the following word starts with the "i" sound (iglesia, hijo). In those cases, use the "e".

Hijo e hija. Español e inglés.

Similarly, "or" is translated to "o" or "u". "U" is only used when the following words starts with the "o" sound. (ojo, hoy).

Nariz u oreja. Ayer u hoy.

July 14, 2014

They are the same, you use e when the following word starts with i or a y that sounds like an i. For all other cases use y. Also since H is silent it also works on most words that start with H.

  • María e Isabel not María y Isabel
  • Español e inglés not Español y inglés
  • Carlos e Yvonne not Carlos y Yvonne

You will find u and o too and they both mean or, you use u when the following word starts with an O.

  • Marcos u Orlando not Marcos o Orlando
July 14, 2014

and are they both pronounced the same?

July 14, 2014

Nope, e is pronounced as the e in perro.

July 15, 2014

It is like a and an in English.

July 14, 2014

this was actually so helpful

May 30, 2016

This was actually very helpful!

July 20, 2016

This was super helpful! Thanks so much! :D

October 28, 2016

When the next word begins with «i» or «hi» (except in words like «hierro»), the «Y» is replaced with the «E».

July 14, 2014

Yep, the exception is that you don't use "e" when the next word starts with hie-. "Hierro" (iron), "hielo" (ice), "hierba" (grass), and "hiedra" (ivy) all use "y" (not "e") despite starting with an "i" sound.

July 14, 2014

Also, before I upvoted this, it had -1 votes. Please stop downvoting honest questions. It's frustrating for them and for us.

July 14, 2014

Honesty pays.

Respect the power of speaking truth.

July 24, 2015

They are the same but use 'e' when an 'i' sound follows for example, 'padre e hijo' . Flows better like 'an egg instead of a egg'.

April 28, 2015
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