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Which sentence is correct from below and why? If both are correct the how to give answer to both question?

1) If you have one day to live what would you do?

2a) If you had one day to live what would you do?

I think question 2a) should be ask like this

2b) If you had one day to live what would you have done?

  • Thanks all. It cleared my doubt and aslo correct use of have and had. – user4084 Jun 20 '15 at 1:19
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  1. "If you have" is asking about a concrete situation. "If you have one day to live..." would generally be interpreted as asking about "some day, in the future, when you have only one day left to live, what will you do?"

  2. "If you had" is asking about a hypothetical situation. "If you had one day to live..." would be interpreted as "If, right now, the doctor told you that you had only 24 hours to live, what would you do?"

Your 2b option seems to be confusing the present subjunctive mood with past subjunctive mood (and subjunctive mood is already confusing in English). You need to select whether you're talking about the present, or the past, and ask accordingly.

Present subjunctive:

If you had one day to live, what would you do?

Past subjunctive:

If you had had one day to live, what would you have done?

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