Spanish Grammar

Conditional Conjunctions in Spanish

Conditional conjunctions in Spanish are plentiful, however, we usually use the conjunction ‘si‘. In this free resource from Spanishviaskype.com we will learn about other options, both colloquial and formal.

Before listing the conditional conjunctions in Spanish, we must remember that these linkers introduce conditional subordinate propositions. These clauses express a necessary requirement for the action of the main verb to take place. If you want to go deeper into the types of conditional sentences you can read this article.

Now, let’s know other conditional conjunctions in Spanish, which are an alternative to ‘si‘.

Conditional Conjunctions in Spanish with Indicative

Although conditions are usually expressed with the subjunctive, since they usually indicate hypotheses, not facts, there are also connectors that are used with the indicative. These are the correlative conjunctions.

Correlative conjunctions usually have two separate elements in the sentence and have a distributional value, as they offer several options to choose from. Let’s look at some examples:

  • que… que (no): Que quieres estudiar, yo te ayudaré, que no, ponte a buscar trabajo.
  • si… que (no): Si tienes duda, pregúntame, que está todo claro, pasaremos a otra lección.
  • que… si (no): Que hablas español, perfecto, si no, reserva clases con nosotros.

Subjunctive in Conditional Clauses

The most common verbal mood introduced by conditional conjunctions in Spanish is the subjunctive. This is because conditions usually express improbable or unreal hypotheses. However, there are connectors that are used exclusively in the subjunctive and others that allow an alternation with indicative and infinitive. Let’s know them.

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Conditional Conjunctions in Spanish Exclusively with the Subjunctive

  • Siempre que, siempre y cuando, mientras: they express an indispensable condition and have temporal significance; iré a tu casa siempre y cuando me invites a cenar.
  • Como: it expresses a threat or a wish; como no estudies, suspenderás.
  • A no ser que, a menos que, excepto que, salvo que: they show a negative condition. It is the only option that can prevent the main action.; a menos que estudies, no aprobarás.

Connectors that Use the Subjunctive or Indicative

  • Si: it is the most commonly used to express condition; ayúdame, si tienes tiempo; si viviera en China, hablaría chino.
  • Salvo si, excepto si, menos si: they express a negative condition, the only one that can impede the main action; estaré en la fiesta, salvo si estuviera enfermo; no puedo visitarte hoy, excepto si salgo antes del trabajo.

Conjunctions that Use the Subjunctive or Infinitive

The conditional conjunctions in Spanish, which can be used in both the subjunctive and the infinitive, depend on the subject of both verbs. If the subject is the same, the conditional clause is formed with the infinitive; however, if the subjects are different, we must use the subjunctive.

  • A cambio de (que): it introduces an exchange of actions; tendré más vacaciones a cambio de trabajar horas extras; Te daré más vacaciones a cambio de que trabajes horas extras.
  • A condición de (que): puedes conducir mi coche, a condición de cuidarlo bien; te dejo mi coche a condición de que lo cuides bien.
  • En (el) caso de (que): it expresses an unlikely condition; tendrás que aprobar el DELE A2, en el caso de necesitar la nacionalidad española; Spanishviaskype.com te ayudará a aprobar el DELE A2, en el caso de que necesites la nacionalidad española.
  • Con (que): con marcar un gol, ganaremos el partido; con que el rival no marque ningún gol, ganaremos el partido.

Other Conditional Conjunctions

Conditional conjunctions in Spanish don’t only introduce indicative or subjunctive, there are some that only allow the infinitive:

  • De: de tener más tiempo libre, aprendería un nuevo idioma.

Other subordinate clauses can even be formed without a connector. This is the case of the gerund:

  • Escuchando noticias en español, mejorarás tu capacidad de comprensión.

The imperative can also have a conditional value to express warnings or threats. For this purpose, it is formed correlatively with the conjunction ‘y‘.

  • Imperative… y: vuelve a insultarme y tendrás serios problemas.

We hope that this list of conditional conjunctions in Spanish will help you not to limit yourself to using only the conjunction ‘si‘. However, to go deeper into this topic, we invite you to reserve a lesson with us. And, if you prefer to take a free trial lesson first, we will be happy to help you.

CONDITIONAL-CONJUNCTIONS