2

I am struggling on a sentence here. Let me show u what I come up with;

Would I fail if I won't study?

In this sentence I am trying to indicate a possibility but I am not sure if I use this part correct : if I won't study

which tense should I be using there?

3 Answers 3

10

The sentence you're looking for is:

Will I fail if I don't study?

The if-clause in English takes an ordinary present-tense verb in this construction. This is a present conditional, which indication a condition about a present or future action.

You could also write this:

Would I fail if I didn't study?

This indicates a hypothetical condition. If you actually want to indicate a counter-factual condition about a past event, you need to use the perfect:

Would I have failed if I hadn't studied?

1
  • 2
    The "hypothetical" form is properly called the subjunctive.
    – Ben Voigt
    May 29, 2011 at 13:22
4

It's rare to use the future tense with if. Speakers would use either the past tense or present as follows:

Would I fail if I didn't study?

Will I fail if I don't study?

It's more common to use the present tense ("don't study") when the main clause has "will" (future).

Of thes two alternatives, the first tends to indicat a more "hypothetical" suggestion: it's asking about possible universes, whether or not you actually have any intention of studying. In the second case, there's a presupposition that you're actually considering studying.

0
3

Since no one else so far has actually addressed "won't" (the act of willfully declining to do a thing), I'll just add that the proper construction using that particular word would be:

Will I fail if I won't study?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.