« si » suivi du plus-que-parfait

French Grammar (see all)

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« Si » suivi du plus-que-parfait

Reminder: Si (if) clauses express a hypothetical or conditional situation.
Si tu ne rentres pas à l’heure, j’appelle la police (si + present → indicative mode) If you don’t get back on time, I will call the police.
Si tu ne rentrais pas à l’heure, j’appellerais la police (si + imperfect → conditional mode) If you didn’t get back on time, I would call the police.



The French third conditional (‘si + past perfectpast conditional mode’) expresses hypothetical past actions: the consequences of a past action which never happened.
Si je n’étais pas parti en retard, je n’aurais pas raté mon train If I hadn’t left late, I wouldn’t have missed my train (in other words: Je suis parti en retard et j’ai raté mon train I left late and I missed my train).
S’il n’avait pas plu, je serais sorti If it hadn’t rained, I would have gone out (in other words: Il a plu et je ne suis pas sorti It rained and I didn’t go out).

In addition to this, we use ‘si + past perfect → (present) conditional mode’ to express present consequences of a hypothetical past action.
S’il n’avait pas plu, je n’aurais pas les cheveux mouillés If it hadn’t rained, I wouldn’t have wet hair (in other words: Il a plu et maintenant j’ai les cheveux mouillés It rained and now I have wet hair).




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