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  1. sky3120's Avatar
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    #1

    What if

    What if I had something big?

    1) What will you do if I had something big?----------------Wrong?

    2) What would you do if I had something big?------ Right



    What if I have something big?

    3) What will you do if I have something big?--------Right

    4) What would you do if I have something big?------Right?

    I think that #1 is not possible but #4 can be okay because I can see many sentences like 'If you do not mind, I would like...', but come to think of it, we also can see sentences like 'I am sorry if I did...' Whether meanings of them are somewhat awkward or not, I think the forms of all the sentences are possible.

    What do you think? Thank you so much.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What if

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post
    What if I had something big?

    1) What will you do if I had something big?----------------Wrong?

    2) What would you do if I had something big?------ Right



    What if I have something big?

    3) What will you do if I have something big?--------Right

    4) What would you do if I have something big?------Right?

    I think that #1 is not possible but #4 can be okay because I can see many sentences like 'If you do not mind, I would like...', but come to think of it, we also can see sentences like 'I am sorry if I did...' Whether meanings of them are somewhat awkward or not, I think the forms of all the sentences are possible.

    What do you think? Thank you so much.
    No, #4 is wrong. You should use 'had' there.

  3. sky3120's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What if

    Yes, but we can see and use 'could, would ,etc' for politeness and we can see many sentences like 'If you do not mind, I would like...','If you are okay. would you...', so my point is that we can see 'if subject + present tense verb ,subject +could, would, etc' and can't we use the auxiliary verbs for politeness there? Thank you.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What if

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post
    Yes, but we can see and use 'could, would ,etc' for politeness and we can see many sentences like 'If you do not mind, I would like...','If you are okay. would you...', so my point is that we can see 'if subject + present tense verb ,subject +could, would, etc' and can't we use the auxiliary verbs for politeness there? Thank you.
    OK, but if you arguing from analogy, you should to make the analogy stronger, otherwise you introduce all sorts of hidden grammatical and structural differences from your example.
    Yes, it's fine to say, "If you don't mind, I would like some coffee." But this is not a real conditional, because you would like some coffee anyway. You're not implying that if I do mind, you don't want any. So, there are politeness functions in both clauses of that sentence, which really does muddy the grammatical waters.
    The rule is that, for a (real) conditional phrase, we use "If I had ..."
    "If I had something big, what would you do?" (Strange concept, though.)

    Consider the following:
    1. "If I have some coffee, would you like some?" (I'm not sure whether I have any coffee. I'll look.) You could say this. But it's not a real conditional.
    2. If I have some coffee, I would offer you some." This is a real conditional, and its wrong. You need 'had' or "If I have some coffee, I will offer you some."

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