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Spanish si clauses

How to Use the Spanish Si Clauses: Conditional Sentences

You probably heard about Spanish si clauses before. But do you know how to use them?

It’s not rocket science, however, we want to make Spanish conditionals simple for you.
If you want to learn how to form si clauses in Spanish, this is the right place to do it. In this post, you will learn different types of conditional sentences in Spanish, and how to form and use them.

And that’s not all! We won’t leave you with a bunch of explanations and examples of Spanish clauses. There’s a practical part too! 

At the bottom of this article, you will find plenty of examples with audio to help you understand the concept of Spanish si clauses better and to practice your listening skills.

Spanish Si Clauses

Spanish si clauses, also known as conditional sentences or Spanish conditionals, express a condition that needs to be met for something else to occur. 

The conditional sentences in Spanish describe many hypothetical situations: probabilities, possibilities, requests, wishes, suggestions, and so much more.

The good thing is that si clauses in Spanish correspond to if clauses in English, so it’s easier for you to understand!

They can refer to the present, past, and future. Continue reading to find out how we form and use Spanish conditionals in a sentence.

How to Form Spanish Conditional Sentences?

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 not important. Thus, the si clause can go before or after the main clause. If the main clause precedes, you don’t need a comma.

Remember, si belongs to the Spanish clauses that express 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?

It is a common question that people who want to learn Spanish ask.

Sometimes, you don’t know which tense to use in each type of a si clause. Consequently, you end up mixing up the tenses, which is normal.

There’s nothing to worry about because we will explain this too!

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.

With indicative, we give facts and describe the situations that are real. Whereas, with the subjunctive, we express doubt and uncertainty that something will happen or is true.

Types of Spanish Si Clauses

Depending on how likely the condition is, we classify Spanish si clauses into three types:

  • 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/future
Imperfect subjunctiveImperfectUnlikely conditions in the present/future
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 the present
EXAMPLES
  • Si hubiera ido al médico, me habría recuperado antes. → If I had gone to the doctor, I would have recovered sooner.
  • Si hubiera ido al médico, me hubiera recuperado antes. → If I had gone to the doctor, I would have recovered sooner.
  • 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

Fill in the Gaps Exercises

Where to Practice all the Conditional Sentences

Fill in the Gaps Exercises



Final Thoughts

See? It’s not rocket science, don’t you think? In fact, Spanish conditional sentences are much easier than it seems! But it’s all practice!

That’s why we are here! We hope this post helps you understand the Spanish si clauses better.

We know it can be a bit confusing but it’s normal. However, if you are already familiar with the English if clauses, you’re on the right track to understanding si clauses in Spanish too!

We advise you to practice Spanish if clauses with the examples we provided here. Otherwise, you can practice with us in our online Spanish classes.

If you need some ideas on how to start on your own, you can try by answering the questions below:

  • ¿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?

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