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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Candice here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I'll answer your most common French questions.
The question for this lesson is How do I make “if” statements in French?
“If” statements are a great example of conditional sentences. This means that one part of the sentence is conditional to the other part; it can only happen if the other one does. There are three ways of making an “if” statement and they vary in how likely or unlikely something is to happen.
First, let’s talk about the most likely. To make this statement, we use the present tense or the present perfect with the future tense. “If I see him, I will say hello.” Si je le vois, je dirai bonjour.” It’s not certain that you will see him, but if you do, it’s certain that you will say bonjour.
Next, let’s talk about something that is unlikely. Here, you should use the imperfect and the conditional. This form describes what would happen if the first part comes true. At the moment, it’s not true, but it could be. For example, Si on pratiquait, on serait intouchables. meaning “If we practiced, we would be unstoppable.” You probably remember the imperfect. You use it to describe things you used to do in the past. The conditional tense might be new to you. To form the conditional, use the same stem as the futur simple and add the imparfait endings. Easy, right?
Finally, let’s talk about things that are impossible. This uses the pluperfect plus the conditional perfect. This form is purely hypothetical. You’re saying if things had gone differently in the past, then things would be this way. For example, Si j’avais écouté ma mère, je n’aurais pas été dans cette merde. This means “If I had listened to my mother, I wouldn’t have been in this mess.”
Let’s review. A form one example – si tu écoutes encore ce podcast, ton français s’améliorera meaning “If you listen to this podcast again, your French will improve.”
Form 2 - Si tu pratiquais chaque jour, ton français serait quasiment parfait. This means “If you practiced every day, your French would be almost perfect.”
Form 3 - Si tu étais né en France, tu aurais déjà parlé couramment français. This means “If you were born in France, you would already speak French fluently.”
Okay, well that’s all for this lesson!
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
A bientôt, see you soon!