In Matthew 26:35 in the Louis Segond translation, Peter tells Jesus this:

Quand il me faudrait mourir avec toi, je ne te renierai pas.

I have two questions about this usage, in addition to my standard "Hey, I found this in my outdated Bible translation; do people still say it?"

First: What are the contexts in which can quand replace si ? I notice that the English translators tends to render it "even if", which appears to be in line with κἄν, the Greek word used. Could it be related to this intensification?

Second: What is going on with the tenses? I would expect a sequence like the following for a typical hypothetical:

(Même) s'il me fallait mourir avec toi, je ne te renierais pas.

I could understand trading fallait for faudrait, the same way English can vary "Even if I had to do X someday" and "Even if I'd have to do X someday", but even then, I'm not sure why the imperfect wouldn't suffice to convey that it's hypothetical. Worse, though, is the jump not to conditional but to... future? That makes me think that faudrait is somehow counterintuitively supposing a more real scenario than fallait instead of a less real one...

J'espère que quelqu'un pourra me remettre sur le bon chemin !

1 Answer 1


The first sentence form is almost no more used. Quand is equivalent here to the literary and formal quand bien même.

Quand bien même il me faudrait mourir avec toi, je ne te renierai pas.

It needs to be followed by the conditional.

On the other hand, si is always followed by the indicative:

Même s'il me fallait mourir avec toi, je ne te renierai pas.

Même s'il fallait que je meure avec toi, je ne te renierai pas.

Logically, the conditional would have been expected too here (même s'il (me) faudrait), but the grammarians explanation is that si is already expressing a condition so using the conditional would be redundant.


  • 1
    Merci. What still puzzles me is why the conditional is followed by the indicative (faudrait → renierai).
    – Luke Sawczak
    Jan 12, 2018 at 15:03
  • I was focused on the first part and overlook the second one which I copy/pasted without paying attention. I believe both moods are possible. The conditional is the natural choice as the clause is part of an hypothesis but the indicative means it's a certainty, a commitment, i.e. whatever the case, (s)he wont deny the other person.
    – jlliagre
    Jan 12, 2018 at 15:59
  • Although I can't propose a source where to check it, I want to point out that, as a French native, the indicative following the conditional hardly hurts me.
    – cFreed
    Jan 18, 2018 at 21:23

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