Modern Descendants of Latin 397 (a) if he came I should go; (b) if he had come I should have gone Here5 as in future-past expressions, illustrated above, the French conditional is equivalent to our construction involving should or would with the infinitive of the main verb For our simple past tense-form of an ordinary verb of the ^/-clause, as in (a), or of the helper as in (6), the French equivalent is the ordinary imperfect (or pluperfect) The following examples illustrate French conditional statements. (a) French' Sifavais de I*argent je Facheterais English: If I had money I should buy it (b) French S*il avail eu de I*argent elle I'aurait achete. English If he had had money she would have bought it Spanish usage is more tncky. Where we use the would-should con- struction., it is always safe to use the conditional in the main clause, and Spaniards will not misunderstand a foreigner who uses the ordinary (indicative) present or past in the z/~clause. They themselves resort to the subjunctive form, as we use were for was> iss are: Spanish, le dorian elpremio sifuese mas aphcado English: they would give him the prize if he were more industrious. Spanish * Si tuviera dinero lo compraria English: If I had money I should buy it Spanish: Si hubiera tenido dinero lo habria comprado English, If I had had money I should have bought it. The mam thing for the beginner to know about the Romance subjunc- tive is how to leave it alone till he (or she) has mastered all the grammar essential to clear statement The conditional turns up in many situations which more or less imply condition, e g suggestions, and in general where we use should-would with the infinitive in a simple statement For instance, it is a useful form for polite request In headline idiom the French conditional may indicate uncertainty or even rumour, as illus- trated by the last of the ensuing examples Je ne leferais pas ainsi I shouldn't do it like that. Voudnez-vous bien m* aider un peu? Would you kindly help me a bit? Quefaimerais te vow1 How I should love to see you1 Dorian rencontrerait Hitler Will Darlan meet Hitler? It is important for anyone who is taking up French to know several common expressions which involve the conditional form of certain helpers, e g vouloir (to want) and devoir (to owe) in the sense would like to> and ought to, e g je voudrais bien te visiter I should much like to visit you. il ne devrait point lefaire. He shouldn't do it.