Interested in Language
I read this sentence
If you will be visiting an area of Senegal with malaria, you will need to discuss with your doctor the best ways for you to avoid getting sick with malaria.
and found it strange, because you have an if-clause with a future, which is usually not allowed by grammar, unless will/shall carry a modal meaning. How can I explain this occurrence?
The sentence is unhelpful because it is wrong. What the writer meant to say IMO is:
If you will be visiting Senegal it is an area where malaria is prevalent. You will need to discuss with your doctor before you come the best ways for you to avoid getting sick with malaria.
If they mean just an area of Senegal then I would still stick to my alteration because mosquitos do not recognise our boundaries and the traveller may make a mistake and go off in the wrong direction!
I also was always taught that future cannot be in English if-clause to be hard remembered and as a common error by Russian-speaking "translators" since Russian language permits future in the if-clause.
Doesn't "if", at least, pre-suppose conditional or subjunctive tense (would)?
A fast search gave me
Common Errors in the Use of Tenses:
- "Present tense and future tense
Incorrect: I shall call you when the dinner will be ready.
Correct: I shall call you when the dinner is ready.
Incorrect: They will come if you will invite them.
Correct: They will come if you invite them.
When the verb in the main clause is in the future tense, the verb in the subordinate clause should be in the present and not in the future."
I do not want to waste much time on it, but I am quite sure that I shall find dozens of references telling that it is an error to have future in if-clause.
Last edited by vgv8; 01-Jan-2011 at 07:37.
contrary? You'd expect the present tense (if you are going to visit). But...the abstract of the article (see link below) may prove otherwise.
Maybe the posters who find the construct acceptable will speak up on why they think it so.
Last edited by lauralie2; 01-Jan-2011 at 09:22.
Your link to "If you will be invited for Anny's wedding, will you go?" is perhaps misleading, since it's not the same construct. It's passive. I agree that this sentence is odd.
"If you'll be going to Senegal ..." is active voice. It may not be as common as "If you are going to Senegal ...", but I can't see how it's wrong.
'If' and 'will' are not contrary. A does not know if B will go. There might be some contrariness about "If I will go to Senegal ..." which I'd call wrong.
Have you heard of, "Look, if you'll only listen to me, you might understand!"
References to incorrect beginner's rules that don't give exceptions are a dime a dozen.
I think that the question, "Will you be going to Senegal on your trip overseas?" is incontestably correct. The speaker obviously does not know the answer, and hence he may say, "If you will be going to Senegal, ... "
In this context, the "will" involves volition. In your example of being invited to a party, "will" is simply an indicator of futurity.
So, there are circumstances in which "I will go the party if Mary will invite me" is correct.
Last edited by Raymott; 01-Jan-2011 at 11:13.