1. If I found out the truth, I would definitely tell you.
  2. If I did find out the truth, I would definitely tell you.

What is the difference between these two conditional phrases?

  • The similarity between the sentences is that the tense of the first clause fails to match the tense of the second clause...
    – AndyT
    Sep 7, 2017 at 14:14
  • I don't understand AndyT's comment - they both look OK to me.
    – stangdon
    Oct 21, 2017 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


(1) and (2) are conditional sentences, not conditional phrases. Conditional sentences are formed by a conditional clause (in this case, "If I found out the truth / If I did find out the truth") and a main clause (in this case, "I would definitely tell you").

Both sentences are slightly different in that the verb in conditional clause (2) is emphatic, so we can imagine some preceding context in which the possibility of "I" discovering the truth is considered to be remote, for example:

  • I don't think I will ever find out the truth, but if I did find out the truth, I'd definitely tell you.

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