Master Si Clauses in Spanish: If-Then Conditional Sentences
Are you ready to easily master si clauses in Spanish?
This detailed Spanish grammar guide has all the answers you need.
This blog post will teach you everything there is to know about si clauses in Spanish—covering how to use them, the different types, and show you real-life examples.
As an added bonus, you can test your knowledge below with a free quiz and download an exercise worksheet to go!
If you want to get one step closer to fluency, then let’s begin!
What are Si Clauses?
Si clauses work just like if clauses in English! Anytime you say “if…” you’re using a si clause!
These if and si clauses are used to describe possibilities. You use them anytime you need to talk about something that may or may not happen.
Look at this example:
If you eat those cookies, you won’t be hungry for dinner!
The first part of the sentence is the if clause, or the condition. The second part of the sentence is the result or main clause. The result clause indicates what action will happen if the si clause takes place.
A good trick is to think about “if… then” statements. If x happens then y will occur.
If I miss the bus, then I will have to walk home.
Keep in mind that not every if clause will have “then” in its sentence, but it makes for a useful study tool.
Free Downloadable Practice Exercises
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Si Clauses in Spanish
Now let’s go over the rules for si clauses in Spanish.
Si clauses can be either affirmative or negative:
If = Si
If… don’t/not = Si no
Si clauses in Spanish are used for both possible and impossible situations, that’s why they are also called “conditionals.”
Si clauses in Spanish can be used for:
- Likely situations
- Unlikely situations
- Impossible situations or hypothetical situations
Si + Present Indicative
The first type of si clauses in Spanish to learn are the si + present indicative clauses.
This type of clause is used when the condition might be fulfilled. In other words, the condition is possible or feasible.
There are three different types of resulting clauses that can follow this si clause: present indicative, future indicative, and imperative. Present indicative is the easiest, it’s just normal present tense! Future indicative is just a fancy way to say the future tense. Imperative is the tense used for commands.
Feel free to brush up on your conjugation skills with our exclusive Beginner’s Guide to Spanish Conjugation!
This chart breaks down these si clauses in Spanish.
|Si Clause||Result Clause|
|Si + Present Indicative (possible condition)||Present Indicative|
|Si + Present Indicative (possible condition)||Future Indicative|
|Si + Present Indicative (possible condition)||Imperative|
Si termino mis tareas, ¿puedo ir al cine?
If I finish my chores, can I go to the movies?
Si llego tarde, ¿todavía estarás allí?
If I’m late, will you still be there?
Si pierdes el autobús, vuelve a casa caminando.
If you miss the bus, walk home.
Si + Imperfect Subjunctive
This next type of si clause is used for conditions that are contrary to the facts. This means that the result clause is pretty much impossible.
The imperfect, or past, subjunctive is used to create the si clause while the conditional tense is used in the resulting clause. The imperfect subjunctive is used to show that the si clause is not reality. The conditional tense is similar to using the English word “would”.
These sentences are sort of like hypothetical situations!
If I had all of the money in the world, I would buy a private jet.
|Si Clause||Result Clause|
|Si + imperfect Subjunctive||Conditional|
Si fuera mayor, conduciría mi propio coche como mi papá.
If I was older, I would drive my own car like my dad.
Si yo fuera tú, no lo haría.
If I were you, I wouldn’t do it.
Si tuviera más dinero, viajaría por todo el mundo.
If I had more money, I would travel around the whole world.
Si + Pluperfect Subjunctive
The last type of si clause is for situations that are contrary to past facts. The result clauses show an unrealized possibility that could have happened in the past if the condition would have been met.
Once again, these are hypothetical situations. However, they relate to past situations that were possible but didn’t actually occur. The result clause demonstrates what would have happened had the condition been met.
If I had answered my phone, I would have known sooner.
|Si Clause||Result Clause|
|Si + Pluperfect Subjunctive||Past Conditional|
|Si + Pluperfect Subjunctive||Simple Conditional|
|Si + Pluperfect Subjunctive||Pluperfect Subjunctive|
Si hubiera estudiado más, ahora tendría mejores notas.
If I had studied more, I would have better grades now.
Si te hubiera dicho que sé cantar, te habrías reído.
If I had told you that I can sing, you would have laughed.
Si hubiera sabido, hubiera ido contigo.
If I had known, I would have gone with you.
Multiple Choice Quiz
Test your knowledge about si clauses in Spanish with this fun interactive quiz!
1. Si veo a mi amigo, le __ “hola.” (If I see my friend, I say “hello.”)
2. Si comes demasiado, __ dolor de estómago. (If you eat too much, you will have a stomach ache.)
3. Si corremos rápido, __ la carrera. (If we run fast, we win the race.)
4. Si el bebé no duerme, __ cansado. (If the baby doesn't sleep, he is tired.)
5. Si hubiera tenido más tiempo __ más. (If I had had more time, I would have traveled more.)
6. Si fuera tú, __ las reglas. (If I were you, I’d study the rules.)
7. Si pudiera hablar alemán, __ a Alemania. (If I could speak German, I would go to Germany.)
8. Si tuviera más dinero, __un carro nuevo. (If I had more money, I would buy a new car.)
9. Si trabajas horas extras, te __ hora y media. (If you work overtime, then you’ll be paid time-and-a-half.)
10. Si llueve, __ mi paraguas. (If it is raining, then I will bring my umbrella.)
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