Can we use will and would in two separate clauses within the same sentence? For instance:

  1. I would propose her if I got a chance, but I know she will definitely reject.
  2. If absolutely necessary I will go to china, but I would prefer somebody from Head Office to manage it.

Are these examples correct or not?


"Will" and "would" cannot be used as substitutes for each other.

Have a look at your first sentence:

I will propose [to] her if I got a chance.

The word would does not have a tense, but will is always future tense. Because of this, it is necessary to change got to get, which is future tense.

  • 1
    The OP is asking whether they can be used interchangeably, which suggests that the OP doesn't fully understand the difference between them. You could improve this answer by explaining that. – mathewb Nov 13 '17 at 22:29
  • No. The OP is asking whether they can be used in separate clauses in the same sentence, which this doesn't address at all. – Colin Fine Jul 15 '20 at 16:23

Your second example is perfectly normal: there is no connection between the uses of will and would in the two clauses.

The first is less good. The first half is hypothetical (would); but the choice of will in the second half means that the speaker is now thinking of proposing as a real possibility in the future. I'm sure that people say things like this - effectively changing how they're thinking of it in the middle of the sentence; but I wouldn't recommend it in writing.

I would also make a couple of other changes, for idiomatic English:

I would propose to her if I got a chance, but I know she would definitely refuse.

Propose requires a "to" for the person proposed to; and reject requires an object, so reject it or reject me; but refuse doesn't require an object, and is more natural here.

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