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I know that in Spanish, there are occasions when the consonant at the end of the infinitive or imperative can be elided, both in pronounciation and in writing, but I'm having trouble finding information on the exact ins and outs of this. For instance, I know the following would be:

¡Calláos!

But I'd thought I'd seen somewhere once that this only happens with -ar verbs, so I imagine, for instance, the following should be:

¡Decidídos!

Is that correct, and the case for both -ir and -er verbs? Both written and pronounced (as a hard d, since it is no longer at the end of the word)?

And for the infinitive, with something like this:

"Esto es, no podéis dormiros en las nubes y obcecaros en que las cosas sigan el mismo ritmo que siempre han seguido."

Is 'dormiros' correct, but it should rather be written and pronounced as 'obcecáos'?

Any clarifications and additional insight are most appreciated, thank you. :)

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  • All letters in Spanish are prounounced, sometimes not all clearly.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 18 at 16:43
  • @Lambie if you read Gorpik's answer, you will see the confirmation of when the letters I'm talking about are not pronounced at all, because they are elided. :) Commented May 18 at 23:57

3 Answers 3

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When you add an enclitic at the end of an infinitive, you never modify it. You have to keep the final -r in all cases. In your examples, both dormiros and obcecaros are correct. There are no exceptions to this.

When you add the enclitic at the end of an imperative, you also keep the imperative as it is, unless the enclitic is reflexive; if so, you remove the final consonant of the imperative in two cases:

  • 1st person, plural: vayamos + nos = vayámonos and not *vayámosnos.
  • 2nd person, plural: decidid + os = decidíos and not *decididos.

Notice that this only works for the reflexive. If you use a different enclitic pronoun, you keep the final consonant:

  • digamos + les = digámosles and not *digámoles.
  • contad + les = contadles and not *contales.

Contales, in fact, would have a different meaning: this would be the 2nd person singular if you use the voseo paradigm: contá + les = contales.

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    Thanks so much for this categorical, comprehensive response to how to approach this in all instances. :) Commented May 17 at 11:43
  • There is no elision: fundeu.es/consulta/imperativo-983 Cuando se pospone el pronombre a la forma del imperativo de segunda persona del plural, la -d de la forma verbal desaparece: los imperativos correspondientes con el enclítico os serían comeos, bebeos y callaos** (sin tilde). Las formas con -r- para el imperativo —**comeros, beberos o callaros**— son habituales en un registro coloquial, pero la RAE advierte de que deben evitarse en un registro formal, ya que no es un uso apropiado.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 19 at 12:51
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You are mixing different verb forms which mean different things.

So, no, the consonant can't be elided, neither in pronunciation nor in writing, at the risk of meaning something different.

For example:

Imperativo vs. participio:

  • ¿Habéis decidido qué película ver? (participio)
  • ¡Decidíos ya! (imperativo)

Infinitivo vs. imperativo:

  • "Leo un cuento para dormiros" -> dormiros -> dormir a vosotros (infinitivo)
  • "Llevo ya 40 páginas, ¡dormíos ya!" (imperativo)

You can check the verb forms in the DLE, for example: https://dle.rae.es/dormir#conjugacioneRnrLRQ

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  • Thank you, that was a typo on my part; I was inattentive and meant 'decidídos". Am I correct then in gleaning that, in the imperative, the 'r' is elided with all verbs, or only -a and -i verbs? And that the 'r' is never elided with all infinitives, both in writing and pronounciation? Commented May 9 at 15:08
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    @tejóncontesón when adding -os to an infinitive, the final 'r' is never elided. When adding -os to an imperative, the final 'd' is always elided ("moved" -> "moveos"). The only exception is "id" -> "idos".
    – wimi
    Commented May 9 at 15:16
  • There is a common error among native speakers of using the infinitive instead of the imperative in some occasions. Dormiros is an example of this kind of error.
    – aerobiomat
    Commented May 9 at 15:17
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mmmh there's only ONE consonant at the end of every verb in infinitive and that’s the “R” In a verb like “ir” how do you elide the last consonant? I’m sorry but that makes no sense.

infinitive is one of the impersonal forms of verbs (just like in English any verb in infinitive is “to - verb”) therefore every verb needs a mode (indicative subjunctive or imperative) and a personal pronoun (or subject) in order to execute a given action.

Thst you’re suggesting it’s pretty much impossible.

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  • What I am saying makes perfect sense. 'Elision' when it comes to language means to not pronounce something. Why would it matter if there is only one consonsant? As discussed in another answer, there are instances when one single consonant is elided: like in second-personal plural imperatives. Callad + os isn't calládos, it is calláos. One single consonant elided, very much possible. :) Commented May 13 at 11:46
  • Let’s put that theory to the test: there are three variations within the impersonal forms of verbs -those that have no pronoun- and these are infinitive, gerund and participle -in Spanish- I will give you the gerund, participle and the English translation; you will give me the infinitive. You will apply that you say “that makes sense”. The gerund is: yendo, the participle is: ido the verb is: to go. Please do explain to me how you elide the R in the infinitive. Thank you in advance
    – latin30mx
    Commented May 23 at 10:59
  • As others have discussed, there are no instances in which the last consonant of the infinitive is elided (ie, there is no: "no podéis obcecaos"), but that fact has nothing to do with your suggested logic "that there is only one consonant at the end of the infinitive so how do you elide it?" If your logic had any bearing, it would not be possible to elide the last consonant in decidid to make "decidíos", but the last consonant in decidid in that circumstance is indeed elided. Commented May 24 at 14:39

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