Stop saying: “Si j’aurais”, Mastering French Conditional Sentences

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Unveiling the Common “Si J’aurais” Mistake in French

In this session, we’ll address a common error—saying “si j’aurais.” This mistake is not only made by French learners but also by some native speakers. Follow this lesson closely, and you’ll never make this error again! Stay tuned until the end, as I’ll present a brief exercise to test your understanding. Let’s dive in!



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Understanding Conditional Phrases with “Si”

When constructing a sentence starting with “si” (if), you are presenting a hypothesis or condition. The rule is simple: a sentence beginning with “si” should be followed by either a verb in the imperfect, the pluperfect, or the present indicative tense.

1. If + Imperfect Verb : Avoiding “Si J’aurais” with Imperfect + Conditional Present

Let’s revisit the introductory error:

Original Error: “Si j’aurais une voiture je pourrais voyager.”
Correction: “Si j’avais une voiture, je pourrais voyager.”

Here, the imperfect is used to express an unreal or hypothetical condition in the past. The speaker is discussing a situation that did not occur (not having a car) but imagining what could happen if that situation were different (they could travel). The same rule applies to other cases:

– “Si tu avais une voiture, tu pourrais voyager.”
– “Si il/elle/on avait une voiture, il/elle/on pourrait voyager.”
– “Si nous avions une voiture, nous pourrions voyager.”
– “Si vous aviez une voiture, vous pourriez voyager.”
– “Si ils/elles avaient une voiture, ils/elles pourraient voyager.”

French mistake

2. If + Pluperfect Verb: Exploring “Si J’avais Eu” with Plus-que-parfait + Conditional Past

In the second scenario, the sentence can start with “si” followed by a verb in the pluperfect, as in:

 Original Correction: “Si j’avais eu une voiture, j’aurais pu voyager.”

This time, the pluperfect “avais eu” is used to express a condition in the past (having had a car) that could have led to another action also in the past (being able to travel). The same structure applies to other cases:

– “Si tu avais eu une voiture, tu aurais pu voyager.”
– “Si il/elle/on avait eu une voiture, il/elle/on aurait pu voyager.”
– “Si nous avions eu une voiture, nous aurions pu voyager.”
– “Si vous aviez eu une voiture, vous auriez pu voyager.”
– “Si ils/elles avaient eu une voiture, ils/elles auraient pu voyager.”

3. If + Present Indicative Verb (H3): Introducing “Si J’ai” with Present + Simple Future

In the third scenario, “si” can be followed by a present indicative verb and a simple future verb, as in:

Original Correction: “Si j’ai une voiture, je pourrai voyager.”

Here, the present indicative “ai” combined with the simple future “pourrai” expresses a present condition (having a car) with a possible future consequence (being able to travel). This structure applies to other cases:

– “Si tu as une voiture, tu pourras voyager.”
– “Si il/elle/on a une voiture, il/elle/on pourra voyager.”
– “Si nous avons une voiture, nous pourrons voyager.”
– “Si vous avez une voiture, vous pourrez voyager.”
– “Si ils/elles ont une voiture, ils/elles pourront voyager.”

French mistake 2

Embrace Correct Conditional Structures in French

Congratulations! You’ve now mastered the proper use of conditional sentences with “si.” Whether it’s the imperfect, pluperfect, or present indicative, you know how to construct grammatically sound sentences. Before we conclude, I have a challenge for you.

Challenge: Identify the Correct Verb Forms

Here are three sentences. Analyze them and determine the correct verb form of “être” (to be) that should follow “si.” Write your answers in the comments of the video, and I’ll gladly provide feedback if needed.

1. “Si tu (être) plus attentif, tu feras moins de faute.”

2. “Si tu (être) plus attentif, tu ferais moins de fautes.”

3. “Si tu (être) plus attentif, tu aurais fait moins de fautes.”

 I look forward to reading your responses and assisting you in your learning journey.

 That wraps up today’s lesson! If you found this tutorial helpful, don’t forget to give us a thumbs up—it’s crucial for the channel. Subscribe to OuiTeach, and, most importantly, click on the bell icon. This way, you’ll be notified every time we release a new French lesson. Until next time, happy learning! Salut!

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