Si clause

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Judy

Kwiziq community member

21 September 2018

2 replies

Si clause

The phrase “if you could run” uses L’imparfait. But the phrase “if you run” uses the present tense. Could you explain this difference to me? Thanks.

This relates to:
Using L'Imparfait in hypothetical clauses introduced by si (if) + Le Conditionnel Présent -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 September 2018

21/09/18

There are three levels of "probability" with si-clauses:

If I run. -- Si je cours. (Possible)

If I ran. -- Si je courais. (Hypothetical)

If I had run. -- Si j'avais couru. (Impossible, it already happened.)

This is pretty much parallel what you would use in English. 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 September 2018

21/09/18

So "if I could run" is a hypothetical case (#2). Therefore:

Si je pouvais courir. 

The other two cases are:

Si je peux courir. -- If I can run  

Si j'avais pu courir. -- If I could have run (If I had been able to run). 

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