Conditionals in Russian

Compare these two situations:

условное наклонение в русском языке

In the first situation we talk about real possibility. In this case we use:

Если  ….. verb in the future, …… verb in the future.

  • Если завтра будет хорошая погода, мы пойдём на пикник. – If tomorrow the weather is good, we’ll go to the picnic .
  • Если мы будем играть в теннис, я выиграю. – If we play tennis, I will win.

The second example shows you the situation in the past – “Yesterday the weather was bad, that’s why we didn’t go to the picnic”. For the past tense we should use:

Если бы …….  verb in the past,  …  бы   verb in the past.

  • Если бы вчера погода была хорошая, мы бы пошли на пикник. – If the weather yesterday had been good, we would have gone to the picnic.
  • Если бы ты встал раньше, ты бы не опоздал – If you had woken up earlier, you wouldn’t have been late.

The same structure is used for unreal situations when we’re just dreaming:

Если бы я был миллионером, я бы был  очень рад. – If I were a millionaire, I would be really glad.

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