I came across this construction that was being said by a native English speaker (AmE):

Usually actually at this point, you don't really know what the Git repository is going to be so I'm not sure if I would ever know this question.

Is that a grammatical inaccuracy, or is the "If I would" construction correct in some contexts?

1 Answer 1


"I'm not sure if I would ever know this question" is not grammatically correct, but "if I would" is perfectly valid.

Would is a modal auxiliary verb that indicates the likelihood of something; in this case, whether or not the speaker "knows the question." I'm assuming he is referring to the answer to the question; "I'm not sure if I would ever know the answer to this question" is grammatically correct and suggests that the question may be impossible to answer.

  • My non-native knowledge tells me the sentence should read if I will ever know am I wrong ?
    – Alex
    Sep 21, 2015 at 8:41
  • 2
    @Alex - You aren't necessarily wrong. Would and will are both acceptable in this sentence, and mean slightly different things. Will suggests that the speak will continue to seek an answer, while would implies that the speaker has given up or lost interest in finding an answer. Sep 21, 2015 at 9:01

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