Why does the "Si" clause use imperfect tense and not past conditional tense when the main part of the sentence uses present conditional tense?
(Yes, the answer is likely "That's just the way it works" - but I am curious.)
Please take a look at my answer to Gregory, a little while ago, listing and explaning the three different cases you can have with what are called -
"The Si clauses "
I believe it is very much as in English in terms of tenses used and expresses three very distinct cases -
Hope this helps!
I think this link may help you to understand more clearly.
"Si/if (x), (y) follows". Alternatively the sentences can be reversed to "(y) follows si/if (x)", without changing the grammatical requirements.
(x) imposes a condition. (y) is conditional on (x).
The conditional tense/mood/verbs are only properly used in the clause that is conditional (y), in French or English.
Rather than reiterate information here, these links cover the conditional statements and types, as well as the tenses/moods used in each of the clauses in scenarios varying from (highly) likely, improbable, to impossible.
The rules read like a complicated mess, but, really, they are
identical to English. Someone might find an exception where English and
French work differently, but I couldn't think of one off hand.
"If it were nice" is the exception. But if you had chosen a verb with no distinct subjunctive form, it would be roughly the same as French, i.e. simple past tense in English since there is no imperfect.
Thank you, everyone!
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