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    #1

    what is difference between" would you ? "and "will you?"

    Hi!
    I got a doubt on "would you" and "will you?"
    Requests can be expressed by using “Will you? “ and ” would you?”
    Examples:
    1)will you post this letter?
    2)would you post this letter?
    My doubts:
    1)In my book The difference between the above two sentences explained like below.
    “Would you?”is less authoritative so more polite than “will you? “
    Can you explain the word “less authoritative “with some other sentences?
    2)What is time difference between “will you?” And” would you” in above two sentences?

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: what is difference between" would you ? "and "will you?"

    There is no time difference between the two expressions. I agree with your book: "will you" is slightly more in the nature of a command, and "would you" of a request. But this difference is small and subtle, and the actual value of the expression depends on the social relationship between the speaker and the addressee.

    For example, if I say to my wife "Will you post this letter?" I am asking her, because I have no right to order her. But if I happen to have a servant and say the same thing to him, it is much more in the nature of a command.
    Last edited by probus; 03-May-2013 at 05:36.

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    #3

    Re: what is difference between" would you ? "and "will you?"

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    There is no time difference between the two expressions. I agree with your book: "will you" is slightly more in the nature of a command, and "would you" of a request. But this difference is small and subtle

    I don't think the difference is small. It's a bit like the difference between 'can' and 'could'.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

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    #4

    Re: what is difference between" would you ? "and "will you?"

    Hello Hanniballl: I must have been editing my original reply at the same time you were composing your reply.

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    #5

    Re: what is difference between" would you ? "and "will you?"

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    I don't think the difference is small. It's a bit like the difference between 'can' and 'could'.
    Which can also be quite small.

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    #6

    Re: what is difference between" would you ? "and "will you?"

    When I was a child, I had some infuriating conversations with my grandfather, who was a stickler on these kinds of things. Imagine that my grandfather and I are both in the back of my mum's car and it's a hot day.

    Me: Can you open the window?
    Grandfather: I can. I have a hand and there is a winder to open the window. (Does not open window.)
    Me: OK, could you open the window?
    Grandfather: I could, if you asked me properly. (Does not open window.)
    Me: Would you open the window?
    Grandfather: Oh, you are SO close! (Puts his hand on the window winder.)
    Me: Would you open the window please?
    Grandfather: Of course. You only have to ask! (Opens the window.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: what is difference between" would you ? "and "will you?"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    When I was a child, I had some infuriating conversations with my grandfather, who was a stickler on these kinds of things. Imagine that my grandfather and I are both in the back of my mum's car and it's a hot day.

    Me: Can you open the window?
    Grandfather: I can. I have a hand and there is a winder to open the window. (Does not open window.)
    Me: OK, could you open the window?
    Grandfather: I could, if you asked me properly. (Does not open window.)
    Me: Would you open the window?
    Grandfather: Oh, you are SO close! (Puts his hand on the window winder.)
    Me: Would you open the window please?
    Grandfather: Of course. You only have to ask! (Opens the window.)
    Yep. haha

    I'd also accept 'could' as well though.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

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    #8

    Re: what is difference between" would you ? "and "will you?"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Grandfather: Of course. You only have to ask! (Opens the window.)
    Didn't he say, "You have only to ask"?

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    #9

    Re: what is difference between" would you ? "and "will you?"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Didn't he say, "You have only to ask"?
    He probably did actually! My memory of conversations from 40 years ago isn't perfect.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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