The Spanish "como" sometimes means "if"
In Spanish, the conjunction "como" is used to introduce a clause that expresses a condition for the action in the main clause to be fulfilled. The conditional clause with como can be placed right at the beginning or after the main clause.
Here are some examples:
Como me ofrezcan el trabajo voy a hacer una gran fiesta.If they offer me the job I will have a big party.
Te vas a arrepentir como no vengas ahora mismo.You are going to regret it if you don't come right now.
Note that como in conditional clauses only allows El Subjuntivo, not El Indicativo.
This would be incorrect:
"Te vas a arrepentir como no vienes ahora mismo."
When we use como in conditional clauses, the context is generally that of a warning, threat or prediction.
Here are more sentences:
Como no apruebes el examen, no te llevo a McDonalds.If you don't pass the exam, I won't take you to McDonalds. (a warning)
Voy a llamar a mi hermano mayor como no me dejéis tranquilo.I will call my big brother if you don't leave me alone. (a threat)
Como llueva ahora, toda la ropa colgada en el patio se mojará.If it rains now, all the clothes hanging in the patio will get wet. (a prediction)
You may find the conjunction como used with El Indicativo in subordinate clauses, but the meaning of the clause will be different. In this case, the clause will be introducing a cause, not a condition. For example:
"Como salí del trabajo tarde, no pude ir al cine con mi novia."
(Because/Since I left work late, I couldn't go to the cinema with my girlfriend.)
See also other types of conditional sentences:
Si [if] followed by present indicative + main clause (present tense/future tense)
Si [if] followed by present indicative + main clause [command/request/advice]
Using the Spanish imperfect subjunctive in hypothetical clauses introduced by si followed by the Spanish conditional simple
Con tal de que / Con tal de (subordinate purpose and conditional clause)
De + infinitive (subordinate conditional clause)
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