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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    #1

    should vs if

    Should you ever see a new element in the shop, the new element will need to be inspected

    or

    If you ever see a new element in the shop, the new element will need to be inspected

    which one is better/correct? what is the difference? why Should when 'IF' is there?

  1. ladybird987's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jul 2008
    • Posts: 110
    #2

    Re: should vs if

    It is correct. "Should" is more formal. It takes infinitive (see). It is also invertion - verb in the beginning of the sentence.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: should vs if

    The full sentence is:

    If you should ever see a new element in the shop, ....

    However, the meaning of the sentence is not affected if we omit, in casual speech, the 'should':

    If you ever see a new element in the shop,...

    With 'if-clauses', we can invert the sentence and put the verb first when we use 'had', 'should', and 'were' :
    Had I remembered Tommy's birthday, she wouldn’t be mad at me now.
    Note that the word 'if' does NOT appear in the clause when inversion is used:
    Had I remembered = If I had remembered
    Should you need a hand, I will be more than happy to help you.
    Should you need a hand = If you should need a hand
    Were I you, I think I would study more for your exam tomorrow.
    Were I you = If I were you
    Sentences like these can be inverted, but this is done mainly in literature, not in casual conversation.

    Notice that we can only use this type of inversion when we are using an if-clause. Even though the word 'if' is omitted and does not appear in the clause, we still have the meaning of an 'if-clause'.

    So - if we invert the sentence:
    Should you ever see a new element....

    the form that you will most often see written, and hear, is:
    If you ever see a new element....

    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: should vs if

    Excellent explanation David:)

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