Forming "if" Clauses - Spanish Subjunctive  

Grammar Present Subjunctive Forming "if" Clauses

There are three basic patterns for "if" sentences. They correspond to the time frames when the events take place. We could be speaking about the future, the present, or the past:

  • We will wash the car if John buys the detergent.
  • We would wash the car if John bought the detergent.
  • We would have washed the car if John had bought the detergent.

present indicative

Si + present indicative, present indicative.

Si lo veo mañana, le digo cuándo es la fiesta.

Si + present indicative, future, (or ir + a + infinitive).

Si lo veo mañana, le diré cuándo es la fiesta.
Si lo veo mañana, le voy a decir cuándo es la fiesta.

Si + present indicative, imperative.

Si lo ves mañana, dile cuándo es la fiesta.

Note: Commands are directed at second person singular (tú /usted), or plural (ustedes / vosotros), or first person plural as in "let's" (nosotros).

preterite/past indicative

Si + preterite indicative, preterite indicative.

Si lo vio ayer, se lo dijo.

Si + imperfect indicative, imperfect indicative.

Si venía a cenar con nosotros, siempre pagaba.

preterite and subjunctive

Si + preterite indicative, preterite pluperfect.

Si la llamaste, le hubieras dicho.

subjunctive + conditional

Si + imperfect subjunctive, conditional.

Si fuera rica, viajaría por todo el mundo.

Si + pluperfect subjunctive, conditional perfect.

Si hubiera visto al Presidente, te lo habría dicho.

Si + pluperfect subjunctive, pluperfect subjunctive

Si hubiera visto al Presidente, te lo hubiera/hubiese dicho.

como si

present + como si + imperfect subjuntive

Me mira como si no me conociera.

preterite + como si + pluperfect subjunctive

Me miró como si no me hubiera/hubiese conocido antes.

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