Spanish conditional sentence structure: Con tal de que… + Present subjunctive

spanish conditional sentences con tal de que

Spanish speakers use con tal de que + presente subjuntivo to establish that we need to fulfill the condition so that we can execute the action. This type of structure in a sentence becomes a construcción condicional or an oración condicional. Moreover, when we use con tal de que + presente subjuntivo is to refer to present or future actions.


Learning how to build construcciones condicional is important since, in several situations, there are some conditions that have to be met for an action to happen. Learning how to use con tal de que + presente subjuntivo will help you not only to express conditions but to improve your speaking and writing. So, If you want to move forward on your Spanish journey, you are in the right place.


What are the construcciones condicionales?


Las construcciones condicionales are those in which we conjugate the verb in the conditional or a verb tense. We use these construcciones condicionales to express probabilities, proposals, doubts, or wishes. We can structure them with the main clause and a subordinate clause.


Additionally, to build las construcciones condicionales, you need to add a conditional linking word or phrase. These linking words are like nexuses that we use to join propositions. Thus, explain the necessary conditions for it to be carried out.


The main purpose of the construcciones condicionales is that we must fulfill the condition in the sentence. In this way, what we express in the main can happen.


Let’s see some examples,


Si tengo tiempo en la tarde, almorzamos juntos. / If I have time in the afternoon, we have lunch together.


Dejaré que falten al colegio y vengan conmigo a condición de que ustedes trabajen también. / I will let you skip school and come with me on the condition that you work too.


Estudiaré todo el fin de semana con tal de aprobar ese examen y así poder convencer a mi mamá de que me deje salir. / I’ll study all weekend to pass that test so I can convince my mom to let me out.


Please note that “Si” is one of the most common conditional nexuses. However, there are other alternatives just like “con tal de que”.


How to use con tal de que + presente subjuntivo


We use the presente subjuntivo to express uncertainty, probability, or feelings. These can be joy, surprise, or amazement. The presente subjuntivo can allude to the present or the future.


However, the phrase con tal de que is a conditional nexus as we said. You can use this type of nexus in subordinate clauses. Remember that these nexus join propositions and explain conditions so that we can execute something. Con tal de que is a conditional that can mean “as long as” in English.


So, to use this structure, you need to put the phrase con tal de que first and then the presente subjuntivo. Let’s see some examples below,


Yo hago el examen de matemática por ti con tal de que me ayudes a cuidar a mi hermana el fin de semana.

I’ll do the math test for you as long as you help me take care of my sister on the weekend.


Voy a correr contigo todas las mañanas con tal de que hagas actividad física para que puedas mejorar tu salud.

I will run with you every morning as long as you do physical activity so you can improve your health.


Limpiaré toda la casa con tal de que me dejes salir con mis amigos esta noche.

I will clean the whole house as long as you let me go out with my friends tonight.


Te traería todos los helados de chocolate del mundo con tal de que te sientas mejor.

I would bring you all the chocolate in the world just so you feel better.


As you can see, we use con tal de que when we refer to future actions. We rarely use this structure in the present tense. It is because you must meet a condition for the action to happen.


You can only use the nexus con tal de que with the presente subjuntivo. This means you cannot use the indicative with these types of sentences. Although, in some cases, you can use con tal de que with the imperative.


On the flip side, you can also use exception clauses with the present subjunctive. In this scenario, you use the subjuntivo after the linking words that indicate exceptions. These might be, a menos que, excepto que, and salvo que. For example,


A menos que pidas ese préstamo, no podremos comprar la casa. / Unless you take out that loan, we can’t buy the house.


Isabella no te va a acompañar a la tienda, excepto que le compres a ella algo también. / Isabella will not accompany you to the store, unless you buy her something too.


Other alternatives to make assumptions with the subjuntivo


Having in mind that the phrase con tal de que is a connecting phrase within conditional sentences, we have other nexus or phrases that we can use as a variant of con tal de que to make assumptions. These phrases can be a no ser que, en caso de que, siempre y cuando, among others. Let’s have a look at the examples below.


Llegaré a las 6pm al cumpleaños de mi hermana, suponiendo que haya poco tránsito en la ciudad.

I will arrive at 6pm for my sister’s birthday, assuming there is little traffic in the city.


Iré a vivir contigo solamente en caso de que cambies totalmente tu forma de ser y tu actitud para conmigo.

I will go to live with you only in case you totally change your way of being and your attitude towards me.


Estoy dispuesta a acompañarte a la fiesta siempre y cuando no me dejes sola. / I am willing to go with you to the party as long as you do not leave me alone.


Generally speaking, las construcciones condicionales are a must have in every Spanish learner vocabulary. They enhance your speaking and writing when it comes to expressing conditions. Some natives often use con tal de que to manipulate or to achieve a goal of other people. Therefore, the correct meaning and use of this nexus are necessary since it can lead to misunderstandings. Keep in mind that there are other alternatives to making assumptions with the subjunctive. Put them all into practice and achieve your goal of improving your overall skills.






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