# Thread: Would with If clause?

1. ## Would with If clause?

Hello everyone,

I would like to know if the if clause can have would.

For example, I once read in a formal letter.

"If it would help, I would be grateful to discuss this with you"

2. ## Re: Would with If clause?

When 'would' has the idea of 'were willing', it's fine in an if clause'

3. ## Re: Would with If clause?

Well, thank you for that response. Do you know any site that explain this point more? I would appreciate it.
Last edited by saloom2; 27-Apr-2013 at 14:06.

4. ## Re: Would with If clause?

Originally Posted by 5jj
When 'would' has the idea of 'were willing', it's fine in an if clause'
Of course, "were willing" fits the second "would" in the OP's example.

However, that doesn't fit "If it would help", because that would read as "If it were willing to help, then ..."
In "If it would help", it is closer to "If it is possible/likely that it will help ..."

5. ## Re: Would with If clause?

Originally Posted by emsr2d2
... that doesn't fit "If it would help", because that would read as "If it were willing to help, then ..."
You are right. I was making a general point, and did not notice that it was not relevant to saloom's example.

I was thinking of such examples as: I would be grateful if you would drive me to the airport tomorrow.
Of course, "were willing" fits the second "would" in the OP's example.
I don't think it works there, either. That's just the normal past-tense form of WILL in a second condition.

I can't actually think of a convincing explanation for the first 'would' at the moment. Clearly we have a more hypothetical version of 'If it will help, I will be grateful to discuss this with you', but we are still left with the question of why the first WILL is acceptable.

The only thing I can think of is an echoing of an unspoken idea. In the first dialogue below there is an explicit statement that is echoed in the if- clause; in the second there may be an unspoken condition that is echoed in the if- clause. :

A: Emma will be here tomorrow.
B: Great! If Emma will be here, I'll be able to ask her about the Morton contract.

A: (It will help if I tell Luke about it.) If it will help, I will tell Luke all about it.

Incidentally, I don't find 'I will/would be grateful to discuss ...' very natural. I think we can be happy to discuss something, but grateful for the opportunity to discuss something.

6. ## Re: Would with If clause?

You're right, of course - I missed the unnatural side of "I would be grateful to discuss this with you".

7. ## Re: Would with If clause?

Delightful, I think, would be better.

8. ## Re: Would with If clause?

So, what's the difference between will and would in those sentences. Normally, 2nd condition is for the unlikely event. And the first is the opposite. However, here I cannot differentiate between them. Also, I can't ask as organisation I'm applying to for information using this way. It wouldn't make sense, like " I would be grateful if you could give me some information about the salary per week" but it is a good idea to use it, for instance, at the end of a letter to thank him for the work he will do for me, like "I would be grateful if you would help me reach a solution for this problem" Just to make it saved in my mind. Thanks a lot.
Last edited by saloom2; 27-Apr-2013 at 14:26.

9. ## Re: Would with If clause?

Originally Posted by saloom2
Delightful, I think, would be better.
Do you mean "I would be delightful to discuss it with you"? If so, you are incorrect. "Delightful" is an adjective to describe a person. The speaker would be saying that they were a delightful person (ie a lovely person). They could say "I would be delighted to discuss it with you" although that sounds like overkill to me. "Delighted" means "extremely happy". I doubt the discussion is that exciting.

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