Indicative vs. Subjunctive 
Cheat Sheet
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
1. (conditional)
a. si
If I were a rich woman, I would travel the world.Si yo fuera rica, viajaría por el mundo.
2. (whether)
a. si
I do not know if they will like my cooking.No sé si les gustará mi comida.
3. (adversative)
a. aunque
It is a wonderful car, if rather expensive.Es un carro fabuloso, aunque bastante caro.
b. si bien
She's a good girl, if a little naive.Es una buna chica, si bien un poco inocente.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
4. (assumption)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
If he enters the race—and that's a big if—he could receive many votes.Si entra a la carrera—y está por verse—podría recibir muchos votos.
The success of this project depends on a lot of ifs.El éxito de este proyecto depende de muchas suposiciones.
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
5. (conditions)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Do your homework now, or you can't go to the movies. No ifs or buts!Haz la tarea ahora, o no puedes ir al cine. ¡Nada de peros!
Don't worry about the ifs, just enjoy the moment.Olvídate de las dudas y disfruta el momento.
Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.
  • ifs and buts pegas (f pl)
  • it's a big if es un gran condicionante
1. si (conditional)
  • if I were rich si fuese rico
  • if I were you yo en tu lugar
  • if the weather's good si hace buen tiempo
2. si bien (conceding)
  • the film was good, if rather long la película fue buena, si bien un poco larga
  • if anything it's better en todo caso, es mejor
3. si (whether)
  • I asked if it was true pregunté si era verdad
4. (in phrases)
  • if not si no
  • if so en ese caso
  • if only! ¡ojalá!
  • if only I had more money! ¡ojalá tuviera más dinero!
  • if and when… en caso de que…
  • he sees them rarely, if at all or if ever apenas los ve
Copyright © 2006 Harrap Publishers Limited
if [ɪf]
1 (conditional) si
I'll go if you come with me yo iré si tú me acompañas; if you studied harder you would pass your exams si estudiaras más aprobarías los exámenes; if they are to be believed si hacemos caso de lo que dicen
if you ask me en lo que a mí se refiere
if you had come earlier, you would have seen him si hubieras venido antes, le habrías visto
if I had known I would have told you de haberlo sabido te lo habría dicho; si lo sé te lo digo (informal)
if it hadn't been for you we would have all died de no ser or de no haber sido por ti hubiéramos muerto todos
you can go if you like puedes ir si quieres
if necessary si es necesario; si hace falta
if I were you I would go to Spain yo que tú iría a España; yo en tu lugar iría a España
if you were to say that you'd be wrong si dijeras eso te equivocarías
if it weren't for him, we wouldn't be in this mess! ¡si estamos metidos en este lío, es por él! (informal); ¡no estaríamos metidos en este lío de no ser por él! (informal)
if and when she comes si (en efecto) viene; en el caso de que venga
2 (whenever) si; cuando
if she wants any help she asks me si or cuando necesita ayuda me la pide
if I asked him he helped me
if it was fine we went out for a walk si or cuando hacía buen tiempo dábamos un paseo
3 (although) aunque; si bien
it's a nice film if rather long es una buena película, aunque or si bien algo larga
the weather was nice, if a bit chilly
I will do it, even if it is difficult lo haré, aunque me resulte difícil
I'll finish it if or even if it takes me all day lo terminaré aunque me lleve todo el día; even if he tells me himself I won't believe it ni aunque me lo diga él mismo me lo creo
I couldn't eat it if I tried aunque me lo propusiera no lo podría comer
4 (whether) si
he asked me if I had eaten me preguntó si había comido
I don't know if he's here no sé si está aquí
I wonder if it's true me pregunto si es or será verdad
5 (in phrases)
if anything this one is better hasta creo que este es mejor; este es mejor si cabe
it's no bigger than our last house, if anything, it's even smaller no es más grande que nuestra última casa si acaso, es incluso más pequeña; I think you should paint it blue, if anything en todo caso or si acaso, yo lo pintaría de azul
as if como si
she acts as if she were the boss se comporta como si fuera la jefa; as if by chance como por casualidad; it isn't as if we were rich no es que seamos precisamente ricos; no es que seamos ricos que digamos
if at all
they aren't paid enough, if (they are paid) at all les pagan poco, eso cuando les pagan; change it to red, if at all en todo caso or si acaso, cámbialo a rojo
if it isn't old Garfield! ¡pero si es el bueno de Garfield!; ¡hombre, Garfield, tú por aquí!
if not si no
are you coming? if not, I'll go with Mark ¿vienes? si no, iré con Mark
if only I had known! ¡de haberlo sabido!
if only I could! ¡ojalá pudiera!; if only we had a car! ¡ojalá tuviéramos coche!; ¡quién tuviera coche!; I'll come, if only to see him voy, aunque solo sea para verlo; I'll try to be there, if only for a few minutes trataré de estar allí, aunque solo sea unos minutos
if so si es así; de ser así
are you coming? if so, I'll wait ¿vienes? si es así or de ser así te espero
do you smoke? if so, how many cigarettes do you smoke a day?
that's or it's a big if es un gran pero
there are a lot of ifs and buts hay muchas dudas sin resolver
Indicative/Subjunctive after "si"
Si can be followed by both the indicative and the subjunctive. The indicative describes facts and likely situations; the subjunctive describes remote or hypothetical situations.
Use si + present indicative to translate if + present in English:
If you go on overeating, you'll get fat Si sigues comiendo tanto, vas a engordar
Don't do it if you don't want to No lo hagas si no quieres
Don't use si with the present subjunctive.
Use si + imperfect subjunctive to translate if + past for remote or uncertain possibilities and hypotheses:
If we won the lottery, we would never have to work again Si nos tocase or tocara la lotería, no tendríamos que trabajar nunca más
What would you do if I weren't here? ¿Qué harías si yo no estuviese or estuviera aquí?
Use si + pluperfect subjunctive (= hubiera or hubiese + past participle) to translate if + had + past participle:
If Paula hadn't lost her ticket, she would have left today Si Paula no hubiera or hubiese perdido el billete, habría salido hoy
Alternatively, instead of a clause with si, you can often use de (no) haber + past participle:
If Paula hadn't lost her ticket, she would have left today De no haber perdido Paula el billete, habría salido hoy
Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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