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Spanish si clauses

Spanish Si Clauses: Conditional Sentences

With this post you will learn about how to form, the use and the types of the Spanish si (if) clauses.

In addition, there are plenty of examples with audios to help you better understand the concepts and to practice your listening skills.

NOTICE: some of the links in this posts are affiliate links. If you purchase something, I will receive a commission. However, your purchase price will remain unchanged.

Spanish Si Clauses

The si clauses, also known as conditional sentences or conditionals, express a condition that needs to be met so something else occurs.

How to Form the Spanish Conditionals?

The si clauses consist of two parts:

  • A si clause that expresses a condition.
  • A main clause which tells us what will happen if the condition is met.

The order of the sentences is unimportant. Thus, the si clause can go before or after the main clause. If the main clause precedes the si clause, you don´t need the comma.

However, remember that si belongs to the clause that expresses the condition.

EXAMPLES
  • Si tuviera tiempo, viajaría más. → If I had time, I would travel more.
  • Viajaría más si tuviera tiempo. → I would travel more if I had time.

When do I Use Subjunctive with a Si Clause in Spanish?

This is a common question students of Spanish as a second language have.

Knowing what verb tense to use in each type of si clauses can be hard. Consequently, you end up mixing up the tenses.

Here is a tip:

  • Si is followed by present indicative when the possibility of the condition is likely or real.
  • Si is followed by subjunctive when the condition is unlikely, impossible or unreal.

Types of Spanish Si Clauses

We can classify the si clauses in three types according on how likely the condition is:

  • Type 1: Possible/real conditions.
  • Type2: Unlikely conditions.
  • Type 3: Impossible/unreal conditions.

TYPE 1: POSSIBLE/REAL CONDITIONS

Si ClauseMain ClauseUses
Present IndicativePresent IndicativeUniversal truth
Situations that happen normally
Situations that are likely to happen
Present IndicativeFutureEvents that will happen in the future
Present IndicativeImperativeFor requests or orders
EXAMPLES
  • Si llueve, te mojas. → If it rains, you get wet.
  • Si hace frío, te pones el abrigo. → If it´s cold, you put on your coat.
  • Si hace frío, te pondrás el abrigo. → If it´s cold, you will put on your coat.
  • Si tienes frío, ponte el abrigo → If it´s cold, put on your coat.
Where to Practice the Type 1 Conditional
Gap Fill Exercises

TYPE 2: UNLIKELY CONDITIONS

Si ClauseMain ClauseUses
Imperfect subjunctiveSimple ConditionalUnlikely conditions in the present
Imperfect subjunctiveImperfectUnlikely conditions in the present
Spoken Spanish
EXAMPLES
  • Si ganara/ganase la lotería, me compraría una mansión. → If I won the lottery, I would buy a mansion.
  • Si me tocara/tocase la lotería, me compraba un coche. → If I won the lottery, I would buy a car.
Where to Practice the Type 2 Conditional
Written Practice
Gap Fill Exercises

TYPE 3: IMPOSSIBLE/UNREAL CONDITIONS

Si ClauseMain ClauseUses
Past Perfect SubjunctivePerfect ConditionalImpossible or unreal conditions in the past
Past Perfect SubjunctivePast Perfect SubjunctiveImpossible or unreal conditions in the past
Spoken Spanish
Past Perfect SubjunctiveSimple ConditionalGeneral statement
Main clause still valid in in the present
EXAMPLES
  • Si hubiera ido al médico, me habría recuperado antes. → If I had gone to the doctor, I would have recovered earlier.
  • Si hubiera ido al médico, me hubiera recuperado antes. → If I had gone to the doctor, I would have recovered earlier.
  • Si hubiera ido al médico, ahora no estaría enferma. → If I had gone to the doctor, I wouldn´t be sick now.
Where to Practice the Type 3 Conditional
Gap Fill Exercises

Where to Practice all the Conditional Sentences

Gap Fill Exercises

Final Thoughts

I hope this post helps you understand the Spanish si clauses.

I advise you to practice with the examples here and try to make up some others on your own. Also, practice with the exercises that you will find in the links mentioned above.

If you want, I can help you practice with these tenses by using them while having a conversation during our online Spanish conversation classes.

Additionally, we can practice in the comment section below by answering the following questions:

  • ¿Si hace buen tiempo, vas a la playa?
  • ¿Qué harías si ganaras la lotería?
  • ¿Habrías dado la vuelta al mundo si hubieras tenido la oportunidad?

Hola and hi, I am Inés and I am the author of all the posts in the ConvoSpanish blog. My goal is to offer free content for people to practice their Spanish. Creating and maintaining the blog takes a lot of my free time however, due to my love of sharing Spanish with you, I will keep adding and updating the content in the blog. If you like the content of this post and believe that it helps you, please consider donating. I need coffee to keep me going while creating the posts. Aren´t they worth at least a cup of coffee? 😛 Any amount is appreciated. Donations will be used to support the free blog.

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