Elles auraient eu un chien si elles avaient pu. Why is it "elles avaient pu " and not " elles auraient pu " Is this not a 'Past conditional "

LeeB2Kwiziq community member

Elles auraient eu un chien si elles avaient pu. Why is it "elles avaient pu " and not " elles auraient pu " Is this not a 'Past conditional "

 Is this phrase  not a   'Past conditional " structure?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

In a standard "si"-clause, the conditional is in the main clause of the sentence.

The three versions of the conditional clause are:

If I can, I'll buy a car. -- Si je peux, j'achèterai une voiture. Si clause: present tense -- main clause: future tense (or present tense)

If I were rich, I would by a car. -- Si j'étais riche, j'acheterais une voiture.Si clause: imparfait -- main clause: present conditional

If I had been rich, I would have bought a car. -- Si j'avais été riche, j'aurais acheté une voiture.Si clause: plusqueparfait -- main clause: past conditional

If you look at the English versions, they actually follow the French!

CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Andrey, 

The car example with a wish is not a good one for the future, here is a better one -

Si je reviens à temps, j'achèterai la voiture = If I come back in time, I'll buy the car

Si je peux, je viendrai vous voir = If I can, I'll come and see you

p.s.

You cannot say 'si je pourrais' in French it will be - 

Si je pouvais, je viendrais vous voir If I could, I would come and see you

In this case 'I could' is a past tense, meaning, if I was able to

Si + present ----> future 

Si + imperfect ----> conditional

Hope this helps! 

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Lee,

Si j'avais vu votre question, j'aurais répondu !

If I had seen your question, I would have answered!

AndreyC1Kwiziq community member

Hi Chris! Isn't it "Si je pourrai, j'achèterai une voiture" rather than "Si je peux, j'achèterai une voiture" if we are talking about a situation in the future? Thank you in advance!

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Andrey, 

I have already answered your question and Chris isn't a native speaker...

Elles auraient eu un chien si elles avaient pu. Why is it "elles avaient pu " and not " elles auraient pu " Is this not a 'Past conditional "

 Is this phrase  not a   'Past conditional " structure?

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