I am wondering if we can use present continuous in the “main clause”? And if so, yes why?


If you do that again, I am killing you.

The right way to say it is:

If you do that again, I will kill you.

And the second question concerns the “if clause” plus “to be going to". According to the rules, it is wrong to use it one after another, but many native speakers use it that way, I would like to know why.


I can play with you if you're going to hear me.

  • I don't understand your second example sentence, but it's quite natural to say something like "I won't play with you if you're going to be silly". I don't know what 'rule' you mean. Jan 11 at 16:28
  • Kate Bunting, Thank you for answering. According to the rules of first conditional structure we should use : if + present Simple , will or to be going to + infinitive. But structure of this sentence is different.
    – Marfa
    Jan 11 at 16:34
  • Please explain or provide a link to where you saw these 'rules'. Jan 11 at 16:43
  • 1
    Marta, the rule you mention is if + present simple, will [verb] in the second clause. That is what is referred to as the "first conditional": If you attend the meeting, you'll see him. For example. But also acceptable is: If you attend the meeting, you'll be seeing him. That is future continuous, not present continuous.
    – Lambie
    Jan 11 at 16:44
  • 1
    I can imagine using the present continuous, like "If you hear a loud noise in the night, the compressor is running again", but it would sound more natural to me to say "...*it means that* the compressor is running again."
    – stangdon
    Jan 11 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


In comments you speak of "rules of first conditional". You should be aware these are not actual rules, more guidelines.

Aside: Children are not taught about first, second, third conditionals in school in native English speaking countries. These are a simplification which was designed to explain to learners that the past tense in conditionals doesn't always refer to past time. The actual grammar of conditionals is more complex, and much more flexible

It is quite acceptable to use "I am killing you" in the main clause of a conditional sentence. In contrast to "I will kill you" it suggests a direct and unavoidable consequence, rather than a promise or prediction.

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