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

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me_shankara

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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?
 

probus

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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.
 
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HanibalII

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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'.
 

probus

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

5jj

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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.
 

emsr2d2

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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.)
 

HanibalII

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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.
 

5jj

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emsr2d2

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Didn't he say, "You have only to ask"? ;-)

He probably did actually! My memory of conversations from 40 years ago isn't perfect.
 
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