De + infinitive (subordinate conditional clause)

Sometimes the preposition "de" introduces a subordinate clause expressing a condition, the same way the conjunction "si" (if) does.

In this case "de" is followed by an infinitive.

Let's see some examples:

¿Has escuchado las noticias? De ser verdad, la economía va en declive.Have you heard the news? If it is true, the economy is declining.

De ser posible, te llevaría a ese restaurante 4 tenedores.If it were possible, I would take you to that 4-star restaurant.

De poder elegir, yo me inclinaría por el Ferrari.If I could choose, I would prefer the Ferrari.

No se preocupe usted. De informarme de algo más, yo le aviso por teléfono.Don't worry, sir. If I learn more, I will call you.

De haber sabido que veníais, habría hecho algo de comer.If I had known you were coming, I would have prepared something to eat.

De ser aprobada esa ley, las mujeres se beneficiarán mucho a nivel laboral.If that law is approved, women will benefit a lot workwise.

De no llegar a tiempo perderíamos el vuelo.If we didn't arrive on time we'd miss the flight.

Notice how the infinitive construction admits different cases such as compound infinitives (de haber sabido...), the passive form (de ser aprobada...), the negative form (de no llegar...), modal verbs (de poder elegir...)

Pay special attention to pronouns in this type of construction as they can be attached to the end of the infinitive following the usual rule. For example, this sentence:

De haber sabido que veníais, habría hecho algo de comer.If I had known you were coming, I would have prepared something to eat.

could become:

De haberlo sabido, habría preparado algo de comer.Had I known [it], I would have prepared something to eat.

 

 

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Examples and resources

De haber sabido que veníais, habría hecho algo de comer.If I had known you were coming, I would have prepared something to eat.
De haberlo sabido, habría preparado algo de comer.Had I known [it], I would have prepared something to eat.
¿Has escuchado las noticias? De ser verdad, la economía va en declive.Have you heard the news? If it is true, the economy is declining.
De no llegar a tiempo perderíamos el vuelo.If we didn't arrive on time we'd miss the flight.
De poder elegir, yo me inclinaría por el Ferrari.If I could choose, I would prefer the Ferrari.
No se preocupe usted. De informarme de algo más, yo le aviso por teléfono.Don't worry, sir. If I learn more, I will call you.
De ser posible, te llevaría a ese restaurante 4 tenedores.If it were possible, I would take you to that 4-star restaurant.
De ser aprobada esa ley, las mujeres se beneficiarán mucho a nivel laboral.If that law is approved, women will benefit a lot workwise.
I'll be right with you...