I had a test today and there was this question : If you are a well-organized person, you .... your time.

a) will manage b) manage

I'd like to know the answer and why?

Thanks in advance.

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If you are a well-organized person, you will manage your time.

this is perfectly natural, there is no problem with it.

If you are a well-organized person, you manage your time.

This grammatically valid, but it feels incomplete to me, and I would not be likely to say this. I would be more inclined to say something like:

  • If you are a well-organized person, you manage your time carefully.
  • If you are a well-organized person, you manage your time so that you achieve your goals.

But I agree with the comments that the test is poor, unless there is addition context not quoted here, because either answer can be correct.


First of all, I agree with the other comments that this is a terrible test question.

But I think the point of it was to get you to match the verb tenses in the two clauses of the sentence.

First clause: "If you are a well-organized person, ..." Being well-organized is a permanent attribute, not a temporary condition or a one time action that you might or might not perform in the past or future.

So for the second part of the sentence, I think they want you to name something else which is permanently true for that kind of person. As one of its functions, the simple present tense "is used to describe actions that are factual or habitual" (reference this article). So "... you manage [present tense] your time." is a suitable second clause for the sentence: If you are well-organized [all the time], you manage [habitually].

Choosing the future tense, "... you will manage your time", is appropriate for a prediction in the context of some specific task or time period. But in a stand-alone sentence without other context, it's more relevant to name a habitual behavior of someone who is a well-organized person, than to discuss what he might do in the future.

At least that is what I think the test writers were driving at (for you to choose "b"), but certainly both choices sound fine, and neither is ungrammatical at all.

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