Which one of these is correct, to speak about a future plan and time?

  • I will come to the party if I have time
  • I would come to the party if I had time
  • I will come to the party if I would have time

Also I'm open to other suggestions :)

  • Another suggestion is "I come to the party if I have time".
    – user114
    Aug 7, 2013 at 15:45
  • @Carlo_R Simple present would be used in the main clause only if the party is a recurrent event and you are speaking about your usual practice - "I come to the regular Friday-afternoon office blowout whenever I have the time." Aug 7, 2013 at 17:09
  • @Carlo_R. What Stoney said--yours is almost right, you're just one word off. Try "I will come..." :)
    – WendiKidd
    Aug 7, 2013 at 20:35
  • @WendiKidd yes! but that one word is really important and the outcome will be the first choice above :)
    – Ehsan88
    Aug 7, 2013 at 20:46
  • @Wendi, but elsewhere, perhaps on EL&U, I'm sure of having read that "I come to the party ... blah, blah, blah" is not wrong, but only informal. However, now, I'm not able to find the place where I read it.
    – user114
    Aug 7, 2013 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


Your first sentence is a promise: you tell your hearer that if you have the time you will definitely come.

Your second sentence is a regret: the past-tense forms indicate that the condition is a "counterfactual", a condition contrary to fact, so you cannot come - but if you could you would.

Your third sentence is not idiomatic English. Will and would are never used in a condition (IF) clause in a futurive sense, but only in a volitional sense - that is, when they mean be willing.

If you will do this = "If you are willing to do this" or "If you consent to do this".
If you would do this = "If you were willing to do this" or "If you consented to do this".

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