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Is this sentence grammatically correct? Supposing that the one who speaks is not sure if something happened in the past.

If you actually did it, you will pay for it.

And if it's grammatically right, is it possible to omit "will" to say the same?

If you actually did it, you pay for it

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Doing something and paying for it are separate in time. This means that just because you did something does't mean you have paid for it. In fact, the use of the conditional suggests that you haven't yet paid for it (otherwise we would know you had done it, and we wouldn't need the "if").

So, many combinations are possible:

If you did it, you will pay for it.

If you had done it, you will pay for it.

If you do it, you will pay for it.

If you do it, you pay for it.

And so on. If you use the past-tense "did" (or "had done") then the offense would have occurred in the past.

If you lied in court, the judge will send you to jail.

If you use the present tense "do" then you are talking hypothetically about a possible future offense:

If you lie in court, the judge will send you to jail.

If you lie in court, the judge sends you to jail.

There are other possibilities. Suppose you want to say someone paid for an offense that you are not sure they actually did:

If you did it, you paid for it.

Or suppose you want to suggest that, since they didn't pay for it, they couldn't have done it:

If you had done it, you would have paid for it.

This is far from a complete list.

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If you do it, you will pay.

If you did it, you would pay.

If you had done it, you would have paid.

This traditional sequence of tenses is eroding, but it will not hurt to learn the traditional form. Notice that the event is in one tense and then, quite logically, the consequence is in a tense that is relatively future to the event's tense.

  • So native speakers actually replace "would" by "will" sometimes in the second case? – Alex1751 Nov 12 '17 at 0:07
  • The actions of doing something and paying for it are separate in time. "If you did it" does not specify when you pay for it. You could still pay for it in the future. Similarly, "if you had done it" is past potential, but the bill might still be due in the future. "If you had done it, you will have to pay for it" is logical. – Andrew Nov 12 '17 at 0:41
  • “If you had done it” has a strong counterfactual implication. It means “you didn’t do it, but let’s assume for a moment that you did.” I find “If you had done it, you will pay” totally ungrammatical. Anyone else? – mamster Nov 12 '17 at 2:37

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