Learn the If Clause with Enanitos Verdes

grammar Nov 02, 2020

Today, we're drawing on the popular Argentine rock trio Enanitos Verdes (which translates into green midgets) to help you figure out the Spanish si clause.

Ever think you'd get a Spanish grammar lesson from green midgets? We didn't either, but there's a first for everything 😂 

Si clauses indicate possibilities, or things that may or may not become reality. These conditional sentences have two parts: the condition (the si part) and the main or result clause, which is the part that indicates what will happen if the condition of the si comes true.

In the chorus of Mariposa, the trios famous hit, lead vocalist Marciano Cantero uses the si clause when he sings:

Si te vas no tengo nada
Si te quedas puedo hasta el mundo cambiar
O quizás no habré crecido
Dejando mariposas escapar

If you leave, I don’t have anything
If you stay, I can change even the world
Or maybe I wouldn’t have grown
Letting butterflies escape

Mariposa’s lyrics use the present tense and are followed by the present indicative:

Si te vas no tengo nada - If you leave, I don’t have anything.
Si te quedas puedo hasta el mundo cambiar - If you stay, I can change even the world.

Here, the si clause is used to express a case where the condition may be fulfilled and thus the consequence is seen as possible. In these two sentences, if whoever Cantero is referring to leaves, he doesn't have anything. If they stay however, he can change even the world.

As you can see, Enanitos Verdes are getting pretty #Dramatic in Mariposa, but their lyrics do help us understand this grammatical structure.

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