Using como as "if" (subordinate conditional clause)

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)

Careful:

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 acause, 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/advise]

Using El Imperfecto Subjuntivo in hypothetical clauses introduced by si followed by El Condicional Simple

Con tal de que / Con tal de (subordinate purpose and conditional clause)

De + infinitive (subordinate conditional clause)

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

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 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)


Me iba a enfadar con ella como se lo dijera a Paco.
I was going to get cross with her if she told Paco.


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)


Te vas a arrepentir como no vengas ahora mismo.
You are going to regret it if you don't come right now.


Como me ofrezcan el trabajo voy a hacer una gran fiesta.
If they offer me the job I will have a big party.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 1 answer

JuliaC1Kwiziq community member

Como=if

I learned Spanish in Mexico and this usage is not familiar to me. Is it more likely found in Spain?

Asked 1 week ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Julia

This is very common in Spain. I believe it is also something commonly used in Latin America, at least in some countries. Maybe you haven't come across it before. 

Saludos

Inma

Como=if

I learned Spanish in Mexico and this usage is not familiar to me. Is it more likely found in Spain?

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