Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
  • What is the preferred used word for "subscripción", "subscripción" or "suscripción"?
  • Why are there two ways to write the same word?
  • Are there any other words like this one where the "b" can be ommited? In what cases is it allowed?

Another example is substancia/sustancia.

share|improve this question
Related: – Flimzy Mar 18 '12 at 8:41
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Originally, the correct form was subscripción; however, over the years, the relaxation of the sound of the b in the consonantic group bs+consonant led to the simplification in the writing of bs+consonant to s+consonant. Both spellings are still used (the RAE lists both spellings as valid), but nowadays the simplified form is the one that is almost exclusively preferred. Some other examples of this simplification are:

obscuro -> oscuro.

subscribir -> suscribir.

substancia -> sustancia.

substitución -> sustitución.

*substraer -> sustraer.

There are cases in which this simplification shouldn't be used:

obstante, cannot be simplified to ostante.

abstemio cannot be simplified to astemio.

Of course, the group bs+vowel cannot be simplified to s+vowel, so it's not correct to write, for example, osesivo instead of obsesivo.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.