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This relates to 'if' clauses, let's say you were asked a hypothetical question, which was riding a bike to work.

"my house is 20 kilometers away from my work, and I will be late, if I ride a bike to work.”

Or

"my house is 20 kilometers away from my work, and I will be late, if I rode a bike to work.”

Which is correct?

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    The first sentence is correct. Is sounds like you are sure that you will be late in case go by bike. Anyway, you would say "I would be late if I rode...".
    – Enguroo
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 9:54
  • The first sentence is not correct. Both commas do not belong. The first is a comma splice and the second orphans a conditional clause. It is best to make these two separate sentences: "My house is 20km away from my workplace. I will be late if I ride a bike to work." Also acceptable: "My house is 20km away from my workplace; so, I will be late if I ride a bike." The second example in the OP also suffers from these issues.
    – BadZen
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 23:55

1 Answer 1

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Here are more details:
https://www.ef.edu/english-resources/english-grammar/conditional/

"I will be late, if I ride a bike to work."

This is the type 1 conditional. It is a correct way to express the sentence, and indicates that it's possible and also very likely the condition will be fulfilled, meaning that you have a bike and contemplate riding it to work.

"I will be late, if I rode a bike to work."

Not correct. The main clause is in the future and the conditional is in the past. Fix the problems by changing "will" to "would":

"I would be late, if I rode a bike to work."

This is the type 2 conditional. It is a correct way to express the sentence, and indicates that it's possible but very unlikely the condition will be fulfilled, meaning that you don't really plan on riding a bike to work.

Therefore, with adjustments, both choices could be correct, although they have different meanings.

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    So what is the answer to the question? :-)
    – fixer1234
    Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 4:00

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