The question is:

If you could be any age, what age would you be?

How can one answer this grammatically correct?

If I could be 12, I would play more because I couldn't play when I was younger.

To set up the condition, should one not answer:

  1. If I could be any age, I would be 12 because I couldn't play then.

or could you answer

  1. If I were 35, I would be a doctor because I could/can help people.

Why is this wrong?

If I became 60, I would be happy because I can/could retire.

  • You would form an answer along the lines of: “I would be 12” or “I would choose to be 12. – Jim Oct 20 '16 at 5:01
  • Thanks Jim. Do you know if the verb after because is would/could/might/will/present tense? – user43474 Oct 20 '16 at 14:15

Strictly, whether grammatically or semantically, the correct answer to the question "If you could be any age, what age would you be?" is a lone number, as “12” or “I would be 12”

Strictly, it’s a conditional question only because your forced it to be. Please explain the difference between what you asked and “what age would you prefer/choose/want/hope/ to be?”

“To set up the condition” one would first need to have been required to set up a condition, which one was not.

“I would be 12” is a complete answer to the question you asked.

“I would be 12 because I couldn't play then” is understandable, but not necessary.

“I would be 12 (again) because when I was 12, I couldn't play” is probably what you meant. Is the difference obvious?

“If I could be 12, I would play more because I couldn't play when I was younger” does not need - in fact, suffers from having - the “more”

“If I could be 12, I would play, as I couldn't when I was younger” is better. In either case, ““If I could be 12” does not answer the question as “I would be 12” does.

All of your conditions are perfectly reasonable in and of themselves but grammatically, none of them is in any way relevant to the question.

| improve this answer | |

I would be 12, because then I would play all day. I wasn't able to play much when I was a child.

I'd be 35, as if I were 35 I could be a doctor, and help people.

I'd choose to be 60, so I could retire!

You should use "would" (perhaps shortened to I'd) in the first clause, and "could" in the because clause.

| improve this answer | |
  • Sorry, James, but the answer to the question as asked is a single number and nothing else. What you said might be a perfect answer to what you think PleaseHelp meant to ask and that's wholly different, isn't it? – Robbie Goodwin Dec 6 '16 at 0:38

Your Answer

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