There are two conditional sentences which one is more correct grammatically?

  1. When I come home, my children will be playing.
  2. When I come home, my children would be playing.

In the first sentence the when clause verb is in simple present, and the main clause in future continuous. the situation is real that the children will be playing when I reach home.

In the second sentence the when clause verb is in simple present but the main clause verb in past continuous. But how the second sentence also sounds correct?

  • 2
    (2) sounds incorrect to my ears. Mar 1 at 17:30
  • The first definitely seems more natural. It's possible there's a context when the second would make sense, e.g. as part of a counterfactual, or using historical present, but it definitely sounds less correct. If you're asking how it sounds correct, the answer would be that it doesn't sound correct.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 1 at 17:56

The former is likely to be referring to the statement: At the point, you come home, the children will be playing. Highlighting that you are pretty sure the action going to happen.

Latter could be mixed conditional (although I probably haven't heard this mixture before), and from what I see it could refer to the action of you coming home being real, nevertheless, the event of your children playing is unlikely to be true or imaginary. Context would really help, could be for instance: If I were to guess, when I come home, my children would be playing. Although I did alter the sentence a bit, now it appears much more natural to me. Now, you can omit the "when I come home" part as it just indicates the time/when it happens - If I were to guess, my children would be playing. Making second conditional of it.

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