French First Conditional «Si Clauses»
This French Si Clauses first Conditional free lesson will teach you how to use the first conditional type of si clause. Even though you see the word conditional in the title, this particular kind of si clause does not involve the conditional tense.
👉 This written lesson accompanies my video tutorial at the bottom of this post 👈
What is covered in this French first conditional lesson:
- Definition of a si clause
- Tenses used in the first conditional
- Examples for each type of si clause
- Six quizlet study sets
What is a si clause?
The word si means if in English. Si clauses, also known as conditionals or conditional sentences, are used to express what could happen if some condition is met.
Si clauses indicate possibilities which may or may not actually happen. They refer to the present, past, and future. These conditional sentences have two parts: the condition, or si clause, and the result clause which indicates what will happen if the condition of the si clause is met.
The tense of the result clause depends on the tense of the si clause. In other words, the tense of the two clauses follow a pattern that cannot be modified.
What tenses are used in the first conditional?
Let’s begin with si clauses that involve the present tense. The si part must always be in the present tense.
You can make the following combinations of tenses:
Present + Present
This is technically a si clause, but it’s not really used that much to be honest with you. I’m going to show it to you anyway, but just know that when using the present / present formula you’re speaking in very general terms.
- Si tu ne veux pas y aller, tu restes à la maison.
- If you don’t want you go, you stay at the house.
- Si on a faim, on mange.
- If we’re hungry, we eat.
Present + Future
If you haven’t learned the futur simple yet it is perfectly fine to use the futur proche. I’ll show you both in the examples. The futur simple is definitely more common and sounds better, but if you haven’t learned it yet you have to take things one step at a time.
- Si tu parles français tous les jours, tu auras un meilleur niveau.
- If you speak French every day, you will have a better level.
- Si tu viens à la réunion avec moi, tu vas mieux comprendre.
- If you come to the meeting with me, you are going to understand better.
Present + Imperative (Command)
The result clause and the si clause can be reversed and that won’t make any difference. Just make sure to use the present tense in the si clause. You can reverse the order of the clauses in any type of si clause.
- Finis tes devoirs avant le dîner si tu peux.
- Finish your homework before dinner if you can.
- Si tu n’es pas trop fatigué(e), lis cet article ce soir.
- If you’re not too tired, read this article tonight.
Now let’s move on to si clauses that involve the passé composé.
The si part must always be in the passé composé. Here are the possible combinations of tenses:
Passé Composé + Present
This is kind of like the present / present construction. It’s really not used that much, but I’ll show it to you anyway just so that you can have a little exposure to it and see some examples.
- Si tu n’as pas fini tes devoirs, tu ne peux pas sortir.
- If you haven’t finished your homework, you cannot go out.
- Si tu as perdu ton emploi, tu ne peux pas partir en vacances.
- If you lost your job, you cannot go on vacation.
Passé Composé + Future
- Si tu n’as pas pris tes gants, tu auras froid aux mains.
- If you didn’t bring your gloves, you will have cold hands.
- Si tu n’as rien mangé ce matin, tu auras faim.
- If you didn’t eat anything this morning, you will be hungry.
Passé Composé + Imperative (Command)
- Fais-moi savoir si tu n’as pas compris la leçon.
- Let me know if you did not understand the lesson.
- Si tu n’as pas encore vu le film, regarde-le avant d’en parler.
- If you haven’t yet seen the movie, watch it before talking about it.
💪Set of 25 practice cards