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  1. My future self will wonder what could happen if I choose to stay in my current marriage instead.

  2. My future self will wonder what would happen had I chosen to stay in my current marriage instead.

I am not sure whether any of them is grammatically correct, or if there is a better way to rephrase the sentence. I am also trying to imply that at the present I am leaning towards leaving the marriage but have not made any concrete decision.

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  • The first sentence is syntactically valid, but inherently confusing (it seems to be saying that if I don't get divorced, then at some future time I'll be wondering what might happen, which makes little sense to me). The second sentence is syntactically invalid, but it's easy to see the intended meaning anyway. Note that the stylised "inversion" had I chosen is a relatively uncommon usage - most native speakers would use if I had chosen in such contexts today. Jun 17, 2021 at 13:06

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Past future perfect tense indicates something that has already completed at a point in the future. "would have", "should have".

My future self will wonder what would have happened had I chosen to stay in my current marriage instead.

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  • Because the reference to a 'future self' implies looking back from a time after the marriage has ended. Jun 17, 2021 at 14:51

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