Si Clauses: First Conditional

Propositions conditionnelles : Situations potentielles

The first conditional is an if-then proposition that talks about a likely situation: if something happens (the condition), then something else happens (the result). The first conditional is constructed similarly in French and English and can be further divided into three subcategories:

  The order of the clauses can be reversed with absolutely no change in meaning as long as si / "if" stays in front of the correct verb form.

present si + present or passé composé
future si + present or passé composé
imperative si + present or passé composé

Present / Passé composé + Present

This construction is useful for talking about things that happen as a rule or on a regular basis; indeed, si could be replaced by quand (when) without really changing the meaning.

Le samedi, s’il fait beau, nous allons à la plage. On Saturdays, if it’s nice out, we go to the beach.
Je suis grognon si je n’ai pas de café le matin. I’m grouchy if I don’t have coffee in the morning.
Si tu as fait tes devoirs, tu peux sortir ce soir. If you’ve done your homework, you can go out tonight.

Present / Passé composé + Future

By using the future in the "then" clause, this variation states what will happen if a certain condition is met.

S’il fait beau samedi, nous irons à la plage. If it’s nice on (this) Saturday, we’ll go to the beach.
Je serai grognon si je n’ai pas de café ce matin. I’ll be grouchy if I don’t have coffee this morning.
Si tu as fait tes devoirs, tu pourras sortir ce soir. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll be able to go out tonight.

Present / Passé composé + Imperative

You can also give a command based on a condition being met.

S’il fait beau samedi, va à la plage.   If it’s nice on Saturday, go to the beach.
Achète-moi un café si je suis grognon.   Buy me a coffee if I am grouchy.
Si tu as fait tes devoirs, sors.   If you’ve done your homework, go out.

 Related lessons

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