Table of contents Chapter 9 9.2.4 Irrealis of the present tense

Chapter 9: Subjuntivo, Conditional und Imperative

  9.2.4 Irrealis of the present tense

If the probability that the condition materialises is smaller the Irrealis is to be used. In English you have in the first part sentence - the if-sentence - the simple past, in the second part of the sentence the conditional present.

If he had (= simple past) money I would be (= conditional present) happy (he thinks).

In Spanish you have the subjuntivo imperfecto in the first sentence (the si-sentence) and the condicional in the second part of the sentence.

Si me pagara (pagase) más,
me quedaría.
If he paid me more,
I would stay.
Si me lo trajera (trajese),
estaría feliz.
If he brought it to me,
I would be happy.
Si comiéramos (comiésemos),
no tendríamos hambre.

If we ate something,
we wouldn't be hungry.

Si fuéramos (fuésemos) ricos,
nos compraríamos la casa.
If we were rich,
we would buy the house.