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Hace poco he leído un libro donde se empleaba el sino. Al principio pensaba que era un error de ortografía, pero me resulta un poco extraño que se equivocaron en poner sino y no separado si no. Cualquier aclaración sera bienvenida.

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

"Si no" = if + negative

Si no coges el paraguas, te mojarás [If you don't take your umbrella with you, you'll get wet]

"Sino"= similar to "but" ("instead" in a negative way; "except", "only")

No llegan mañana, sino el martes. [They don't arrive tomorrow, but on Tuesday]

Este vídeo puede ser de ayuda

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Muchas gracias! – Voislav Sauca Feb 18 '13 at 12:26
Sin embargo, hay múltiples ejemplos de "si no" incorrectamente escrito como "sino". – MikMik Feb 20 '13 at 7:25
Otra cosa: "sino" es también un sustantivo que significa "destino" o "hado" (fate, en inglés). – MikMik Feb 20 '13 at 7:28
@MikMik, no estoy seguro pero me parece que la academia ha empezado a admitir sino escrito como si no (o viceversa). Aunque no sea incorrecto, a mí me parece horrible, de todas formas. – DeStrangis Feb 22 '13 at 11:59

@Zeravala's answer is good, but I'd add a few things.

When I was learning Spanish, I decided that the best translation of sino was most often "but rather." No leí el libro de Bioy Casares sino el de Borges translates to "I didn't read Bioy Casares' book but rather Borges'." Of course sometimes "but" works better, sometimes "rather" or "instead", and sometimes something quite different works best, which brings me to my next point.

sino can mean something along the lines of "do anything but" such as in no puedo sino reír which you might translate as "I can't do anything but laugh." This second usage is far less common than the first, but as it will turn up from time to time, you should be prepared to recognize it.

Finally, to reiterate what @MikMik said, you should also be prepared to see what would properly be written as si no squashed together. Many people are sloppy.

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Solamente quiero agregar algo. Usando el mismo ejemplo antes citado supongamos que alguien dice Mañana llegan del viaje pero la realidad es que llegan el martes, si yo quiero corregir y digo solamente No llegan mañana entonces estaría diciendo que no llegan ni mañana ni nunca por esa razón es necesario decir No llegan mañana pero si llegan el martes y esto se abrevia como No llegan mañana sino el martes

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