Capítulo 3: La empresa y las finanzas

3.7.1: Gramática: si clauses

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We have discussed the conditional and how to use it in this chapter (see sections 3.5.1 and 3.5.2) and the imperfect subjunctive (see sections 3.5.3 and 3.5.4).  There is one more use of the conditional and imperfect subjunctive you need to practice.  We can use them together in what are called “contrary to fact si-clauses”.  We can use either the present tense indicative or the future with the word si (if) to talk about real things.  For example, if it rains, we’ll cancel the parade.  Si llueve, cancelaremos el desfile.  When we use “contrary to fact si-clauses,” we are setting up an unreal situation.  For example, If I were you, I wouldn’t take that class.  Si (yo) fuera tú, no tomaría esa clase.  I can’t be another person so I am using this hypothetical construction.  Let’s look at how we put it together.

These sentences are composed of two clauses:

  1. The si clause.  This clause contains the imperfect subjunctive.
  2. The conditional clause.

IMPORTANT: These clauses can occur in any order.  You can say

Si fuera tú, no tomaría esa clase

No tomaría esa clase si fuera tú

Both are absolutely fine and correct!



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