The following sentence is from a text about marriage when to walk away

"Besides the pain you get from the betrayal, knowing when to walk away after infidelity is a lot harder to face. However, decision-making could be easy if you’d think about what’s right for you."

The conditional part of the second sentence "if you'd think ....." seems to have a "would" in contracted form.

I wonder if it is correct to use "would" in the conditional part, as we were taught at school that it should be "if+simple past" to talk about hypotethical situations.

So, I would expect the sentence be formed like this: "...decision-making could be easy if you thought about what’s right for you."

So, is it not a strict rule or is it simply colloquial English?

  • What research did you do? I did a Web search and in about five seconds got results such as grammarly.com/blog/will-would-in-if-clause Nov 23, 2022 at 0:53
  • Yes, I have also made research about it, and I have seen that if+would is used for requests. That is why I asked the question, because it does not seem to be a request sentence.
    – Yunus
    Nov 23, 2022 at 6:35
  • You should indicate the research that you did in your post, not in a comment. It is important information (not just for us but also for people who might read your post years later), and comments can be deleted at any time. Nov 23, 2022 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


The original sentence is correct, but it is written in a colloquial speaking style, rather than a professional writing style.

The "if you'd X" in a context like that can have the same function as the simple past, or it can mean something like if you didn't stubbornly refuse to X. It probably doesn't mean this in your example because the writer would be making assumptions about her audience, but it's possible she's suggesting that her audience stubbornly never thinks about what's right for them.

The sentence the way you suggest is professional.

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