Hi, I've just started teaching English and I've already run into a problem explaining these "problem areas" to my Czech students. They are adamant that I cannot put "will" straight after "if" and the pronoun and also "when" and the pronoun. I feel that it's a natural way to state a conditional sentence such as: "If you will see him pass on my regards" or "When you will see him pass on my regards". I agree with my students that "If you see him pass on my regards" and "When you see him pass on my regards" are absolutely fine and grammatically correct, but I think that the two examples with "will" aren't mistakes, or is it a question of my bad speaking habits making me think that "will" is okay? I don't want to start my teaching career on a bad foot so I would love any help you could give me please. Thanks for your time.
future in if-clauses
We normally use a present tense with if (and most other conjunctions) to refer to the future.
I'll phone you if I have time. (NOT...if I will have time.)
But we use if...will when we are talking about later results rather than conditions. Compare:
I'll give you £100 if you stop smoking.(Stopping smoking is a condition of getting the money-it must happen first.)
I'll give you £100 if it'll help you to go on holiday. (The help is a result-it follows the gift of money.)
Also,We can use if+will in polite requests.In this case, will is not a future auxiliary;it means 'are willing to'.
If you will come this way,I'll take you to the manager's office.
If your mother will fill in this form, I'll have her luggage taken up to her room.
Would can be used to make a request even more polite.
Practical English Usage-Michael Swan