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Common mistakes in Spanish – U

U: U vs. O

In Spanish, when the word Y appears before a word that begins with the sound /i/, written with or without an H, the Y changes to E. While this rule is quite well known, it seems less well known that that when the word O is used before another word that begins with the sound /o/, with or without H, the O changes to a U.

Example:
Correct: En la fiesta sólo había siete u ocho personas, por eso me fui.
(There were only seven or eight people at the party, that’s why I left).
Incorrect: En la fiesta sólo había siete o ocho personas, por eso me fui.

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