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    #1

    If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    Dear friends,

    If I want to ask someone whether they will do something, is it appropriate to say 'would you ever...' ?

    Specifically, 'would you ever consider being a zookeeper?' is to ask someone if he/she would consider being a zookeeper someday in the future?

    If someone asked, "would you ever drive a car if you had forgotten your license at home?", is there anything wrong with this sentence?

    Thank you!

    Last edited by emsr2d2; 29-Mar-2014 at 14:25. Reason: Made font size a bit smaller.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    Those sentences are fine, if you start them with a capital letter.

    I like the large font but other people may ask you to use a smaller font when posting here.

    (And yes, I have driven with my driver's license at home.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    (And yes, I have driven with my driver's license at home.)

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    #4

    Re: If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    I have my number memorized, so they could always look it up on the police computer.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Have you never forgotten your wallet at home? Have you never left something in the pocket of your jeans and forgot to put it back in your wallet? I have.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    In BE we say 'I left my driving licence at home'.

    In the UK there is no legal requirement to carry your licence when driving. If required by a police officer you can produce it at a police station within three days.

    Heidi, your question should read 'If I want to ask someone whether he would do something...'

  4. Roman55's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    I am not a teacher.

    Being British I have never got out of the habit of leaving my driving licence at home.

    It drives my French wife mad, but what can you do? I've only been required to produce it on two occasions in 25 years.

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    #8

    Re: If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    Thanks for sharing. I've never got any driving experience.

    I was hoping that you would analyze the sentence 'Would you ever drive a car if you had forgotten your licence at home?' for me.

    Is it asking about whether you would drive a car if you forgot your licence at home? If so, why bother using 'if you had forgotten'?

    My second question is about the meaning of 'Would you ever consider being a zookeeper?'.

    Is it asking that whether you would consider being a zookeeper someday in the future?

    Thank you!

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    #9

    Re: If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi L View Post
    Thanks for sharing. I've never got any driving experience.

    I was hoping that you would analyze the sentence 'Would you ever drive a car if you had forgotten your licence at home?' for me.

    Is it asking about whether you would drive a car if you forgot your licence at home? If so, why bother using 'if you had forgotten'?
    Most of us would never say, "... if you forgot (or had forgotten) your licence at home." I'm surprised Barb considers it normal. "Had forgotten is the past perfect tense of 'forgot'. Are you asking why we should use "had forgotten" instead of 'forgot'? The past perfect is the preferable form, ie. "Would you ever drive a car if you had left your licence at home?" (Note that 'left' is both the past tense and the past participle of 'leave'.

    My second question is about the meaning of 'Would you ever consider being a zookeeper?'.

    Is it asking that whether you would consider being a zookeeper someday in the future?

    Thank you!
    To your second question the answer is "Yes, it has to be". It makes no sense to ask "Would you ever consider being a zookeeper sometime in the past?" The correct sentence for the past is "Have you ever considered being a zookeeper?"
    But there are some subtleties, such as "Have you ever (in the past) considered being a zookeeper (in the future)?"

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    #10

    Re: If I want to ask someone whether he will do something...

    Most of us would never say, "... if you forgot (or had forgotten) your licence at home."

    Are you saying that you would use the verb 'left' (or had left) rather than 'forgot' (or had forgotten) in that question, or you would never use the past tense ( or the past perfect)?

    Are you asking why we should use "had forgotten" instead of 'forgot'? The past perfect is the preferable form, ie. "Would you ever drive a car if you had left your licence at home?"

    Is that to say, "Would you ever drive a car if you HAD left your licence at home?" implying "Would you ever drive a car (future in the past) if you had left (in the past) your licence at home?"

    If I want to ask someone if he's going to donate some money to a charity (in the future) if he wins a lottery (in the future), is the correct version "Would you ever donate some money to a charity if you win a lottery?"?
    Last edited by Heidi L; 29-Mar-2014 at 07:26.

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