1. What will you do if you win the lottery? Or
  2. What are you going to do if you win the lottery?

I chose (going to). I thought that "going to" is better than "will", because in this case you're certain about how you're going to spend your lottery money. However, It is incorrect.

  • 3
    They essentially mean the same thing.
    – KillingTime
    Sep 12, 2021 at 11:37
  • 6
    There is an idea that some ELL classes have that for every sentence, exactly one of will or are going to is correct. This is totally wrong. In this sentence you can use either. Sep 12, 2021 at 11:42
  • You aren't certain (!) that you will win the lottery. Sep 12, 2021 at 11:59
  • 4
    What will you do if X sounds a bit over-optimistic to me. Given how unlikely it is that X (winning the lottery, here) will ever turn out to be true, I think it's better to ask What would you do...? Sep 12, 2021 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


Because winning the lottery cannot be predicted in advance, I would recommend using the subjunctive mood here:

"What would you do if you won the lottery?"

(Note that despite the form "won" being the same as the past tense, it refers in this case to an uncertain event in the future.)

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