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I bought something today. But now I found out it will be cheaper tomorrow. Which of the following alternatives is grammatical?

  • If I had known it will be cheaper, I would buy it tomorrow.
  • If I had known it will be cheaper, I would have bought it tomorrow.
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If I had known it would be cheaper, I would have bought it tomorrow.

Notice that you use "would be" instead of "will be."

Here's an even clearer way to say the sentence that better expresses what happens when:

If I had known it was going to be cheaper, I would have waited until tomorrow to buy it.

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  • Right. /ɪifaydə'nonɪtwəz'gənəbi'tʃipər, aydə'wetədtɪltə'marotə'bayət/ That's the one that sounds like colloquial American English. – John Lawler Jun 21 '14 at 20:15
  • I think you have to use "was going to be" here; "would be" doesn't accurately convey that it's happening in the future. – Peter Shor Jun 21 '14 at 20:34
  • Yes, the last sentence is the one I transcribed. – John Lawler Jun 21 '14 at 20:57
  • "If I had known it would be cheaper tomorrow, I would have bought it tomorrow" seems fine to me. We all know that tomorrow is future, so it's accurately conveyed. The use of "was going" might be an improvement, though. Then there's always "If I had known that it would have been cheaper to buy it tomorrow, I would have bought it then." This kind of blurring of tenses in conditionals seems pretty common to me. – BobRodes Jun 22 '14 at 4:42

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