## View Poll Results: In which conditional can 'if' be replaced with 'should'?

Voters
668. This poll is closed
• Zero conditional

160 23.95%
• First conditional

259 38.77%
• Second conditional

158 23.65%
• Third conditional

91 13.62%

1. Originally Posted by whl626
Originally Posted by RonBee
No should for the zero conditional then. I will just have to agree with myself.

:wink:
I have come across ' should ' being added for a matter of probability.

eg We will not go if it rains. Or We will not go if it should rain.
That's a first conditional.

(I looked it up just to be sure.)

:wink:

2. Newbie
Join Date
Dec 2005
Posts
1

## Re: Conditionals

İt is very clear and certain that 'should'is used to omit 'if' in first conditionals.

3. Newbie
Join Date
Apr 2004
Posts
23

## Re: Conditionals

hello there,

I think you can replace if by should or what it is the same ommit "if" when you are using an unreal conditional which answers "what would happen if...?
related to inversion. particularly in formal or literary English.
but only in hypothetical conditionals so the second conditional...

4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Join Date
Nov 2002
Posts
40,145

## Re: Conditionals

Should he come, I'll give him the message.

5. ## Re: Conditionals

Couldn't you also say, "If he comes, I'll give him the message."? Means the same thing to me.

6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Join Date
Nov 2002
Posts
40,145

## Re: Conditionals

Yes, you can. This is the form where 'if' can be replaced with 'should', which is the topic of the thread.

7. Member
Join Date
Jul 2007
Posts
127

## Re: Conditionals

Couldn't you also say, "If he comes, I'll give him the message."? Means the same thing to me.
So, doesn't matter if you use "if" or "should", the meaning stays the same, is that right?

Or maybe there's a tiny difference, e.g. Is furnishing a conditional with "should" more formal?

8. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Join Date
Nov 2002
Posts
40,145

## Re: Conditionals

It is seen more in formal usage. Also, it can be used to reduce the possiblity- should he come = can be used to mean 'I don't really expect him to come, but...'.

9. Key Member
Join Date
Aug 2006
Posts
1,879

## Re: Conditionals

First conditional.
In my opinion, the meaning is a little different from the sentence in which we use "if"; the idea or the request is much more stressed

Should you have any information about the missing girl, call the nearest police station.

It does not matter how much information you have : any information is welcome or would be of help.

10. Senior Member
Join Date
Jul 2005
Posts
1,198

## Re: Conditionals

Originally Posted by Tdol
Yes, you can. This is the form where 'if' can be replaced with 'should', which is the topic of the thread.
1. So Tdol to put them on a scale of possibility and probability:
- Should replaced with if (zero to first conditional: increases possibility)
Should takes it into the first conditional. It's called the zero conditional as they express certainty not probability.
- If replaced with should (decreases probability: first to second conditional)
In BE, we do replace 'if' with 'should' in the first conditional and it seems to reduce the probability of the condition being met, like a halfway house to the second conditional.

2. So In all cases should functions as a border crossing from zero conditional to first conditional and then again from first conditional to second conditional.

3. BTW when is not conditional at all because it doesn’t set a condition. It refers to time: “When he comes” means I know he comes but I don’t know the time whereas “if he comes” means I don’t know.

4.What about provided that and given..
Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 22-Jul-2007 at 15:40.

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