Learn how to use que si..., que si... in Spanish

In colloquial and spoken Spanish, we often use the expression: que si... que si... in order to enumerate items. The context can be a list of complaints, reasons, excuses or demands. Let's see some examples to learn how and when to use this structure:

Mi padre es bastante severo, que si no te pongas tanto maquillaje, que si deberías estudiar más y no salir tanto..., qué pesado.My dad is quite strict, don't wear so much make-up, you should study more and go out less, so annoying.

Los ecologistas no dejan de quejarse, que si estamos destrozando los bosques, que si las emisiones de gases...Ecologists won't stop complaining, we're destroying the forests, what about gas emissions...

Mi profesor no se dejó convencer para subirme la nota, que si faltaba mucho contenido, que si el vocabulario era muy pobre...My teacher wasn't at all persuaded to raise my grade, [he said] there was a lot of content missing, that the vocabulary was poor...

Estás alimentando muy mal a la niña, que si chocolate por la mañana, que si helado por la tarde... You are not feeding our girl well, chocolate in the morning, ice-cream in the afternoon... 

Nos dio un montón de excusas, que si tenía mucho trabajo, que si estaba muy cansado.. y al final no aceptó la invitación a la fiesta.He gave us lots of excuses, he had a lot of work to do, he was very tired... and in the end he did not accept the invitation to the party.

What comes after que si can take different forms, generally a sentence with a conjugated verb, but it can also be simplified with the main important element so that the rest is implied. For example this could be simplified:

Nos dio un montón de excusas, que si tenía mucho trabajo, que si estaba muy cansado.. y al final no aceptó la invitación a la fiesta.He gave us lots of excuses, he had a lot of work to do, he was very tired... and in the end he did not accept the invitation to the party.

Nos dio muchas excusas, que si el trabajo, que si el cansancio...He gave us lots of excuses, work, being tired...

The infinitive could also be used sometimes, for example:

No sabía que este nuevo trabajo requiriese tanto de mí, que si generar las facturas, que si llamar a los clientes, que si organizar la agenda de la jefa... Estoy muy ocupada pero también aprendiendo muchas cosas nuevas.I didn't know that this new job would require so much of me, generating the invoices, calling the clients, organizing the boss's agenda... I'm very busy but am also learning lots of new things.

 

Although the structure que si... que si... tends to be mostly used in negative contexts (complaints, excuses...) sometimes it's used in a positive way. For example:

Ayer lo pasé estupendamente, que si una cervecita con Miguel a mediodía, que si unas tapitas con mis amigas más tarde, que si el cine por la noche... Yesterday I had a great time, a beer with Miguel at midday, some tapas with my friends later, the cinema in the evening...

Note that there is no specific equivalent or translation for this in English. 

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Examples and resources

Mi padre es bastante severo, que si no te pongas tanto maquillaje, que si deberías estudiar más y no salir tanto..., qué pesado.My dad is quite strict, don't wear so much make-up, you should study more and go out less, so annoying.
Nos dio muchas excusas, que si el trabajo, que si el cansancio...He gave us lots of excuses, work, being tired...
No sabía que este nuevo trabajo requiriese tanto de mí, que si generar las facturas, que si llamar a los clientes, que si organizar la agenda de la jefa... Estoy muy ocupada pero también aprendiendo muchas cosas nuevas.I didn't know that this new job would require so much of me, generating the invoices, calling the clients, organizing the boss's agenda... I'm very busy but am also learning lots of new things.
Nos dio un montón de excusas, que si tenía mucho trabajo, que si estaba muy cansado.. y al final no aceptó la invitación a la fiesta.He gave us lots of excuses, he had a lot of work to do, he was very tired... and in the end he did not accept the invitation to the party.
Mi profesor no se dejó convencer para subirme la nota, que si faltaba mucho contenido, que si el vocabulario era muy pobre...My teacher wasn't at all persuaded to raise my grade, [he said] there was a lot of content missing, that the vocabulary was poor...
Estás alimentando muy mal a la niña, que si chocolate por la mañana, que si helado por la tarde... You are not feeding our girl well, chocolate in the morning, ice-cream in the afternoon... 
Los ecologistas no dejan de quejarse, que si estamos destrozando los bosques, que si las emisiones de gases...Ecologists won't stop complaining, we're destroying the forests, what about gas emissions...
Ayer lo pasé estupendamente, que si una cervecita con Miguel a mediodía, que si unas tapitas con mis amigas más tarde, que si el cine por la noche... Yesterday I had a great time, a beer with Miguel at midday, some tapas with my friends later, the cinema in the evening...
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