Si Clause Threads or First Conditional French Classroom Exercise

Class in progress
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This practice exercise can be done as a class or in small groups. It requires familiarity with the first conditional (si clauses), including the present, future, and imperative conjugations.

Exercise Instructions

Print out a table for each group (see below).

Write the first part of a conditional sentence beginning with si (see suggestions below) in the first table cell. Since this is the first conditional, the si clause needs to be in the present tense.

Invent a "result" clause, using the present, future, or imperative, for the second cell.

For example:

If clause Result clause
Si tu es prêt, nous partirons.

Next, transform the result clause into a si clause and write it in the first column of the second row. (Remember that the verb which was in the result clause now needs to be in the present tense.) Then invent a corresponding result clause to continue the thread.

Si tu es prêt, nous partirons.
Si nous partons, nous prendrons ma voiture.

Transform the second result clause into a si clause, and so on, until you have completed the thread.

Si tu es prêt, nous partirons.
Si nous partons, nous prendrons ma voiture.
Si nous prenons ma voiture, ne fume pas.
Si tu ne fumes pas, je te laisserai écouter la radio.

To make sure students understand the exercise, start by demonstrating on the board: write a si clause and call on students as you go through the entire thread collectively.

Then divide the class into groups of 2-4 students and provide each group with an "if" clause, or have them come up with their own. After each group has completed their thread, either have students read them out loud, or - if there are likely to be a lot of mistakes, as in the case of weaker students - collect the papers and read the threads out loud yourself, either correcting them as you read, or writing the sentences on the board and going over them together.


  • To challenge students' creativity, have each group start with the same si clause, and then compare how each one turned out at the end.
  • Assign a different si clause to each group, and after they have each completed one row of the table, have them trade with another group. Each group will then complete the clause in the other groups' tables, and then exchange once again with a third group.
  • You can also use this exercise to practice the second conditional and the third conditional.

Starter Clauses

You and your students can of course invent your own "if" clauses,* but here are some ideas to get started:

  1. Si je me lève tôt
  2. Si je parle trop vite
  3. Si je perds mon portefeuille
  4. Si je ne réussis pas à cet examen
  5. Si je ne trouve pas mes clés
  6. Si je trouve une bague de diamants
  7. Si je vois mon ex-copain (ou mon ex-copine)
  8. Si je voyage en Afrique
  9. Si nous regardons la télé
  10. Si nous travaillons ensemble
  11. Si on fais les devoirs tous les jours
  12. Si on mange trop
  13. Si on ne vote pas
  14. Si on tombe malade à l'école
  15. Si l'ordinateur ne marche pas
  16. Si tu es en retard
  17. Si tu ne sais pas nager
  18. Si tu trouves mon livre
  19. Si tu vois Jean-Marc
  20. Si un mobile commence à sonner pendant la classe


This exercise needs tables with two columns and four rows. We have provided a printable page of tables (print the PDF). Print enough copies so that you can cut them up and provide at least one table for each group of students.