In my exam paper I had to give response to this following expression:

What will you do if you got $1000?

I knew that above expression contains an interrogrative future tense with if phrase. Is it correct to answer "I will buy a bike" or "I would have bought a bike"? Or anything else?

  • 3
    The exam question itself is flawed by the mixed tense. I think you should feel free to say whatever you please in response, although your instructor might not agree.
    – Rob_Ster
    Dec 4, 2017 at 2:48
  • 1
    I agree with Rob_Ster: the question itself is badly formed. If I had to guess the intention of the question, I'd assume that 'got' is a typo... it's easier to type 'got' for 'get' than to mistakenly type 'will' when you mean 'would'. You should go for "I will...".
    – ArchContrarian
    Dec 4, 2017 at 2:59
  • Oh, so my exam paper had a typo?
    – Bagas Sanjaya
    Dec 4, 2017 at 4:01
  • It's not that it's a "typo". It's that it's not a grammatical sentence in English. Either "What will you do if you get $1000?" or "What would you do if you got $1000?" are ok, but you can't swap those around. It might be better if it were either "What would you do if you had $1000" or "What would you do if you received $1000" to clarify which sense of got is meant.
    – tchrist
    Dec 4, 2017 at 4:02
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is predicated on an error and thus answers are inappropriate / guesswork. Dec 4, 2017 at 11:07

1 Answer 1


The corrected question is

What would you do if you got 1000 dollars?

if it's a hypothetical question (you are not expecting this to possibly happen...it's just a question to find out your preferences) or

What will you do if you get 1000 dollars?

if you actually might receive $1000 in the future and the asker wants to know what you will actually do with it.

How to answer these questions?

I would buy a bike.

in the first case and

I will buy a bike.

in the second.

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