Si-Constructions


Constructions with si express possible or hypothetical situations. These sentences follow a relatively inflexible pattern entailing a "si-clause" and a "result clause," and they can operate in the present, the past or the pluperfect:

The patterns are as follows:

  1. si + present, followed by future, cf.:

  2. Si tu me dis la vérité, je te croirai.
    If you tell me the truth, I will believe you.
     
  3. si + imperfect, followed by present conditional, cf.:

  4. Si tu me disais la vérité, je te croirais.
    If you told me the truth, I would believe you.
     
  5. si + pluperfect, followed by past conditional, cf.:

  6. Si tu m'avais dit la vérité, je t'aurais crue.
    If you had told me the truth, I would have believed you.
Note that the two sides of si constructions can be inverted. Placing the result clause before the si clause does not affect the verb tense associated with each: Note that the "If clause" is occasionally implied: In spoken French result constructions are occasionally rendered without si; in this case, the conditional is used in both clauses:


See also:



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