If…..(SI)

The conditional

  1. Forms of the conditional.  To form the conditional, use:
    1. The same stem as for the future tense (normally, the infinitive; a list of irregular verbs is given below).
    2. The same endings as for the imperfect of -er and -ir verbs: -ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían.

      hablar

      comer

      vivir

      hablaría hablaríamos comería comeríamos viviría viviríamos
      hablarías hablaríais comerías comeríais vivirías viviríais
      hablaría hablarían comería comerían viviría vivirían

Verbs with irregular future and conditional stems:

decir to say dir- diría, dirías, diría, …
haber there to be [impersonal];
to have [helping verb]
habr- habría, habrías, habría, …
hacer to make, do har- haría, harías, haría, …
poder to be able podr- podría, podrías, podría, …
poner to put, place, set pondr- pondría, pondrías, pondría, …
querer to want, love querr- querría, querrías, querría, …
saber to know [a fact] sabr- sabría, sabrías, sabría, …
salir to leave, go out saldr- saldría, saldrías, saldría, …
tener to have tendr- tendría, tendrías, tendría, …
valer to be worth valdr- valdría, valdrías, valdría, …
venir to come vendr- vendría, vendrías, vendría, …

USOS

There are several ways in which the conditional is used in Spanish:

  1. To indicate future time within the past. (Remember that the conditional is a combination of future stem with imperfect endings.)
    Dije ayer que lo haríamos hoy. Yesterday I said that we would [were going to] do it today.

    The same idea could also be expressed with the imperfect of ir plus a plus the infinitive:

    Dije ayer que lo íbamos a hacer hoy. Yesterday I said that we were going to do it today.
  2. To indicate conjecture or probability in past time (roughly an equivalent of probablemente plus the imperfect).
    ¿Dónde estaría Peter anoche? Where do you think Peter was last night?
    Estaría en casa. He was probably at home.

3.-To indicate something hypothetical (in present or future time).

¡Yo viajaría a la luna mañana (si pudiera)! I would go to the moon tomorrow (if I could)!

MORE

  • Real vs. unreal conditions
    1. A real condition is one which may actually come about or at least is viewed as a possibility; thus, in Spanish, the indicative is normally used both in the “if”clause and in the main part of the sentence:
      Si ella viene mañana, iremos al cine. If she comes tomorrow [she may actually come], we will go to the movies.
      Si nieva mucho, podré esquiar. If it snows a lot [it may really snow], I can ski.

      Note that the English versions of the above conditions suggest the indicative by the lack of hypothesis-suggesting words such as “would”, and by not using the past tense to refer to a present-time situation.

    2. In contrast, an unreal or contrary-to-fact condition is one which will not come about or is viewed as being completely hypothetical. In this case, the “if” clause in normally in a past subjunctive tense, and the main verb is in a conditional tense.
      1. Present or future time situations. The imperfect subjunctive is used in the “if” clause, and the conditional in the main clause:
        Si yo fuera rico compraría un coche. If I were rich [I am not rich] I would buy a car.
        ¿Qué harías si fueras presidente? What would you do if you were president? [you aren’t]
        Si Juana estuviera aquí, ¿le dirías la verdad? If Juana were here [she isn’t here], would you tell her the truth?

        Past time situations. Past perfect subjunctive in the “if” clause, conditional perfect in the main clause:

        Si la hubiera visto, habría dicho algo. If I had seen her [I didn’t see her] I would have said something.
        Si hubieras venido, te habrías divertido mucho. If you had come [you didn’t come] you would have had a great time.
        ¿Habrías ido a la fiesta si yo la hubiera planeado? Would you have gone to the party if I had planned it? [I didn’t plan it]

  • Reminders/tips
    • The present subjunctive is NOT used after si (“if”)!
    • In unreal conditions the standard pattern is a past subjunctive in the “if”clause and a conditional tense in the main clause:
      “if” clause main clause time aspect
      si + imperfect subjunctive conditional present/future time actions (but expressed by the past tense in both English and Spanish)
      Si hablaras, te creerían.
      If you spoke, they would believe you.
      si + past perfect subjunctive conditional perfect past time actions (expresed by previous-past time tenses both in English and Spanish)
      Si hubieras hablado, te habrían creído.
      If you had spoken, they would have believed you.
    • There are frequent tip-offs in English sentences that the conditional/past subjunctive combination is required in the corresponding Spanish sentence. (Compare with the examples above):
      1. Use of the past tense (“spoke”) in the “if” clause to indicate a present/future situation. (“If you spoke [right now]…”).
      2. Use of the word “would” in the main clause to indicate conjecture for present/future time. (“…they would believe you [now or in the future]”).
      3. Use of “would have” to in either clause to indicate conjecture/hypothesis in past time.   (“…they would have believed you”).

PRACTICE
Indíquense el tiempo verbal y el modo que se debe usar para traducir los verbos subrayados; luego, tradúzcanse las frases.

  1. I would like to ask you a favor._______________________________________________________________________
  2. Would you give us harder tests?_______________________________________________________________________
  3. We could save a lot more energy. [tiempo/modo:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  4. If you say so, we will leave immediately. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  5. I would write the composition if I had time. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  6. No one knows if she is coming. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  7. We would have spent the money if you had given it to us. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  8. We didn’t see if they entered the house. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  9. If you had been there, you would have had a great time. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  10. If I were you, I would tell the truth. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  11. If he had filled the tank, we wouldn’t have run out of gas. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  12. I would leave if I had the chance. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  13. You will know him if you see him. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  14. She would have won if we had supported her. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  15. Would you have believed it if you hadn’t seen it? [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  16. We could have had a party if they had brought some food. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]_______________________________________________________________________
  17. No one would mind if you turned on the radio. [tiempo/modo 1:_______________; tiempo/modo 2:_______________]
  18. _______________________________________________________________________

RESPUESTAS- ANSWERS

I would like to ask you a favor. [tiempo/modo: condicional ]

Querría pedirte un favor. [O: Quisiera pedirte un favor. {imperfecto de subj.}]

Would you give us harder tests? [tiempo/modo: condicional ]

¿Nos daría(s) exámenes más difíciles?

We could save a lot more energy. [tiempo/modo: condicional ]

Podríamos ahorrar mucho más energía.

If you say so, we will leave immediately. [tiempo/modo 1: presente de indic. ; tiempo/modo 2: futuro de indic. ]

Si dices que sí, saldremos inmediatamente.

I would write the composition if I had time. [tiempo/modo 1: condicional ; tiempo/modo 2: imperfecto de subj. ]

Escribiría la composición si tuviera el tiempo.

No one knows if she is coming. [tiempo/modo 1: presente de indic. ; tiempo/modo 2: presente de indic. ]

Nadie sabe si ella viene.

We would have spent the money if you had given it to us. [tiempo/modo 1: condicional perfecto ; tiempo/modo 2: pluscuamperfecto de subj. ]

Habríamos gastado el dinero si nos lo hubieras dado.

We didn’t see if they entered the house. [tiempo/modo 1: pretérito de indic. ; tiempo/modo 2: pretérito de indic. ]

No vimos si ellos entraron en la casa.

If you had been there, you would have had a great time. [tiempo/modo 1: pluscuamperfecto de subj. ; tiempo/modo 2: condicional perfecto ]

Si hubieras estado allí, te habrías divertido mucho.

If I were you, I would tell the truth. [tiempo/modo 1: imperfecto de subj. ; tiempo/modo 2: condicional ]

Si fuera tú, yo diría la verdad.

If he had filled the tank, we wouldn’t have run out of gas. [tiempo/modo 1: pluscuamperfecto de subj. ; tiempo/modo 2: condicional perfecto ]

Si él hubiera llenado el tanque, no se nos habría agotado la gasolina.

I would leave if I had the chance. [tiempo/modo 1: condicional ; tiempo/modo 2: imperfecto de subj. ]

Yo saldría si tuviera la oportunidad (o: si pudiera).

You will know him if you see him. [tiempo/modo 1: futuro de indic. ; tiempo/modo 2: presente de indic. ]

_Lo (re)conocerás si lo ves._

She would have won if we had supported her. [tiempo/modo 1: condicional perfecto ; tiempo/modo 2: pluscuamperfecto de subj. ]

Ella habría ganado si la hubiéramos apoyado.

Would you have believed it if you hadn’t seen it? [tiempo/modo 1:_condicional perfecto_; tiempo/modo 2: pluscuamperfecto de subj. ]

¿Lo habrías creído si no lo hubieras visto?

We could have had a party if they had brought some food. [tiempo/modo 1: condicional perfecto ; tiempo/modo 2: pluscuamperfecto de subj. ]

Habríamos podido tener una fiesta si hubieran traído alguna comida.

No one would mind if you turned on the radio. [tiempo/modo 1: condicional ; tiempo/modo 2: imperfecto de subjuntivo ]

No le importaría a nadie si encendieras la radio.

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