The Spanish "if", i.e. the conjunction "si" can introduce the condition needed for an action in the main clause to be fulfilled. It can be followed by the indicative or the subjunctive. In this lesson we are studying the cases where si is followed by past tenses in the indicative.
Spanish "si" clauses with past tenses
When we use si with past tenses in the indicative, we consider the condition expressed in this clause as real or very possible. Have a look at the following examples with different past tenses:
Si ha llovido mucho, las calles tendrán muchos charcos.If it has rained a lot, the streets will have lots of puddles.
Si iba a la peluquería, me gastaba mucho dinero.Whenever I went [lit: if I went] to the hairdresser, I spent a lot of money.
Si tuvo un accidente, no irá al trabajo esta semana.If he had an accident, he won't go to work this week.
In all these sentences, what happens in the conditional clause seems real or very possible. We generally use the indicative here when we have had a hint of what happened and we are essentially just stating it, as if we are saying "When this happened... or "As this happened..."
Bear in mind that si, as a conditional conjunction, does not allow El Futuro Simple or El Condicional Simple.
This would be incorrect:
Si irás a la ciudad,...
Si irías a la ciudad,...
To learn about Spanish si clauses followed by El Presente, see:
To learn about Spanish si clauses followed by El Imperfecto Subjuntivo for hypothetical cases, see:
Using the Spanish imperfect subjunctive in hypothetical clauses introduced by si followed by the Spanish conditional simple
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