Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Indonesian
      • Home Country:
      • Indonesia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 54
    #1

    should with if clauses

    I found these two examples on Wikipedia.

    If I should go, then will you feed the hens?
    If he should fall, who will carry the flag in his place?

    My question is, why is "will" used instead of "would"?
    Last edited by RobertT; 21-Sep-2010 at 13:42.

  1. #2

    Re: should with if clauses

    Neither sentence is incorrect, but the first one would benefit from using "would" instead of "will." It is a request, and there for "would" is more proper. "Will" is used for requests, but in more familiar instances (family/friends).

    The second sentence could also use "would", but they instead chose to use "will". This gives the perception that if the person falls, someone must take over carry the flag. There is a condition, but the resulting action will definitely occur if the cause occurs.

    "Would" and "will" are virtually interchangeable, but there are instances where one is more appropriate than the other. Here are some guidelines:
    1.Would and will are both auxiliary modal verbs.
    2.Will is used to talk about definite future actions.
    3.Will is used to talk about: quick decisions, promises, offers and a likely prediction
    4.Would is used to talk about: invitations, requests, asking permission, talking about preferences and making arrangements.
    5.Both will and would can be used in conditional statements.


    Pat

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Indonesian
      • Home Country:
      • Indonesia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 54
    #3

    Re: should with if clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by english-nation View Post

    The second sentence could also use "would", but they instead chose to use "will". This gives the perception that if the person falls, someone must take over carry the flag. There is a condition, but the resulting action will definitely occur if the cause occurs.
    First of all thank you for the reply. It is really helpful.

    However, I'd like to point out that for the second sentence, the usage of "should" seems to imply a hypothetical situation or an imaginary situation instead of expressing a possibility. So, shouldn't it be incorrect to use "will"?
    Last edited by RobertT; 21-Sep-2010 at 14:18.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 1,507
    #4

    Re: should with if clauses

    Your confusion is understandable: a conditional sentence with 'should' in the protasis (if-clause) is, strictly speaking, a second conditional and, as such, would naturally be followed by a conditional verb-form (would V, etc.) in the apodosis (main clause). However, conventions of usage - probably based on the naturally present reference of 'should' - dictate that a should-conditional may also collocate with 'will'.

    Thus, the choice of 'will' or 'would' in such cases will, in and of itself, serve to indicate the degree of probability in the speaker's mind regarding the realization of the protasis.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Indonesian
      • Home Country:
      • Indonesia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 54
    #5

    Re: should with if clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Your confusion is understandable: a conditional sentence with 'should' in the protasis (if-clause) is, strictly speaking, a second conditional and, as such, would naturally be followed by a conditional verb-form (would V, etc.) in the apodosis (main clause). However, conventions of usage - probably based on the naturally present reference of 'should' - dictate that a should-conditional may also collocate with 'will'.

    Thus, the choice of 'will' or 'would' in such cases will, in and of itself, serve to indicate the degree of probability in the speaker's mind regarding the realization of the protasis.
    Thanks for clearing that up. It's unnatural for non-native speaker to reference "should" to the present in the case of if-clause but now I know. Cheers!

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Syntax: Adverb Clauses vs realtive clauses vs noun clauses
    By tomtaj in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 28-Aug-2010, 04:35
  2. [Grammar] Help with using nonfinite clauses instead of relative clauses
    By Holoubkov in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21-Mar-2010, 04:50
  3. [Grammar] Subordinate clauses dependent on other subordinate clauses
    By Waawe in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2010, 20:19
  4. [Grammar] Dependent clauses after independent clauses.
    By Sammy_ in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-Mar-2009, 12:31
  5. time clauses and conditional clauses
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Jan-2004, 22:16

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •