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The current question overlaps considerably with this earlier one asking about using future tense after if.

As has often been pointed out on ELL, English only really has two tenses (past, and "not-past"). And "hypothetical" scenarios such as might follow if are "orthogonal" to the past-present-future timeline anyway, so we're pretty flexible about the choice of tense.

1: If you cancel, I will go instead
2: If you cancelled, I would go instead
3: If you were to cancel, I would go instead
4: If you are cancelling, I will go instead
5: If you will cancel, I will go instead
6: If you would cancel, I would go instead
etc., etc.

All the above are pretty much equivalent, except that using the modal will/would in #5/#6 is more evocative of volition (i.e. - If you are willing to cancel...), so it's more likely to be used when making a requestrequest, rather than a simple statementstatement (about a hypothetical action/reaction).


Regarding OP's idea of the probability of the scenario being (or becoming) true, there's no difference implied by the actual choice of words. But if the speaker wishes to convey that he considers the scenario unlikely, he may well use OP's first format, stressing the word were...

If you were to cancel, I would be very surprised indeed!

The current question overlaps considerably with this earlier one asking about using future tense after if.

As has often been pointed out on ELL, English only really has two tenses (past, and "not-past"). And "hypothetical" scenarios such as might follow if are "orthogonal" to the past-present-future timeline anyway, so we're pretty flexible about the choice of tense.

1: If you cancel, I will go instead
2: If you cancelled, I would go instead
3: If you were to cancel, I would go instead
4: If you are cancelling, I will go instead
5: If you will cancel, I will go instead
etc., etc.

All the above are pretty much equivalent, except that using the modal will in #5 is more evocative of volition (i.e. - If you are willing to cancel...), so it's more likely to be used when making a request, rather than a simple statement.


Regarding OP's idea of the probability of the scenario being (or becoming) true, there's no difference implied by the actual choice of words. But if the speaker wishes to convey that he considers the scenario unlikely, he may well use OP's first format, stressing the word were...

If you were to cancel, I would be very surprised indeed!

The current question overlaps considerably with this earlier one asking about using future tense after if.

As has often been pointed out on ELL, English only really has two tenses (past, and "not-past"). And "hypothetical" scenarios such as might follow if are "orthogonal" to the past-present-future timeline anyway, so we're pretty flexible about the choice of tense.

1: If you cancel, I will go instead
2: If you cancelled, I would go instead
3: If you were to cancel, I would go instead
4: If you are cancelling, I will go instead
5: If you will cancel, I will go instead
6: If you would cancel, I would go instead
etc., etc.

All the above are pretty much equivalent, except that using the modal will/would in #5/#6 is more evocative of volition (i.e. - If you are willing to cancel...), so it's more likely to be used when making a request, rather than a simple statement (about a hypothetical action/reaction).


Regarding OP's idea of the probability of the scenario being (or becoming) true, there's no difference implied by the actual choice of words. But if the speaker wishes to convey that he considers the scenario unlikely, he may well use OP's first format, stressing the word were...

If you were to cancel, I would be very surprised indeed!

4 replaced http://ell.stackexchange.com/ with https://ell.stackexchange.com/
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The current question overlaps considerably with this earlier onethis earlier one asking about using future tense after if.

As has often been pointed out on ELL, English only really has two tenses (past, and "not-past"). And "hypothetical" scenarios such as might follow if are "orthogonal" to the past-present-future timeline anyway, so we're pretty flexible about the choice of tense.

1: If you cancel, I will go instead
2: If you cancelled, I would go instead
3: If you were to cancel, I would go instead
4: If you are cancelling, I will go instead
5: If you will cancel, I will go instead
etc., etc.

All the above are pretty much equivalent, except that using the modal will in #5 is more evocative of volition (i.e. - If you are willing to cancel...), so it's more likely to be used when making a request, rather than a simple statement.


Regarding OP's idea of the probability of the scenario being (or becoming) true, there's no difference implied by the actual choice of words. But if the speaker wishes to convey that he considers the scenario unlikely, he may well use OP's first format, stressing the word were...

If you were to cancel, I would be very surprised indeed!

The current question overlaps considerably with this earlier one asking about using future tense after if.

As has often been pointed out on ELL, English only really has two tenses (past, and "not-past"). And "hypothetical" scenarios such as might follow if are "orthogonal" to the past-present-future timeline anyway, so we're pretty flexible about the choice of tense.

1: If you cancel, I will go instead
2: If you cancelled, I would go instead
3: If you were to cancel, I would go instead
4: If you are cancelling, I will go instead
5: If you will cancel, I will go instead
etc., etc.

All the above are pretty much equivalent, except that using the modal will in #5 is more evocative of volition (i.e. - If you are willing to cancel...), so it's more likely to be used when making a request, rather than a simple statement.


Regarding OP's idea of the probability of the scenario being (or becoming) true, there's no difference implied by the actual choice of words. But if the speaker wishes to convey that he considers the scenario unlikely, he may well use OP's first format, stressing the word were...

If you were to cancel, I would be very surprised indeed!

The current question overlaps considerably with this earlier one asking about using future tense after if.

As has often been pointed out on ELL, English only really has two tenses (past, and "not-past"). And "hypothetical" scenarios such as might follow if are "orthogonal" to the past-present-future timeline anyway, so we're pretty flexible about the choice of tense.

1: If you cancel, I will go instead
2: If you cancelled, I would go instead
3: If you were to cancel, I would go instead
4: If you are cancelling, I will go instead
5: If you will cancel, I will go instead
etc., etc.

All the above are pretty much equivalent, except that using the modal will in #5 is more evocative of volition (i.e. - If you are willing to cancel...), so it's more likely to be used when making a request, rather than a simple statement.


Regarding OP's idea of the probability of the scenario being (or becoming) true, there's no difference implied by the actual choice of words. But if the speaker wishes to convey that he considers the scenario unlikely, he may well use OP's first format, stressing the word were...

If you were to cancel, I would be very surprised indeed!

3 deleted 2 characters in body
source | link

The current question overlaps considerably with this earlier one asking about using future tense after if.

As has often been pointed out on ELL, English only really has two tenses (past, and "not-past"). And "hypothetical" scenarios such as might follow if are "orthogonal" to the past-present-future timeline anyway, so we're pretty flexible about the choice of tense.

1: If you cancel, I will go instead
2: If you cancelled, I would go instead
3: If you were to cancel, I would go instead
4: If you are cancelling, I will go instead
5: If you will cancel, I will go instead
etc., etc.

All the above are pretty much equivalent, except that using the modal will in #5 is more evocative of volition (i.e. - If you are willing to cancel...), so it's more likely to be used when making a request, rather than a simple statement.


Regarding OP's idea thatof the probability of the scenario being (or becoming) true, there's no difference implied by the actual choice of words. But if the speaker wishes to convey that he considers the scenario unlikely, he may well use OP's first format, stressing the word were...

If you were to cancel, I would be very surprised indeed!

The current question overlaps considerably with this earlier one asking about using future tense after if.

As has often been pointed out on ELL, English only really has two tenses (past, and "not-past"). And "hypothetical" scenarios such as might follow if are "orthogonal" to the past-present-future timeline anyway, so we're pretty flexible about the choice of tense.

1: If you cancel, I will go instead
2: If you cancelled, I would go instead
3: If you were to cancel, I would go instead
4: If you are cancelling, I will go instead
5: If you will cancel, I will go instead
etc., etc.

All the above are pretty much equivalent, except that using the modal will in #5 is more evocative of volition (i.e. - If you are willing to cancel...), so it's more likely to be used when making a request, rather than a simple statement.


Regarding OP's idea that the probability of the scenario being (or becoming) true, there's no difference implied by the actual choice of words. But if the speaker wishes to convey that he considers the scenario unlikely, he may well use OP's first format, stressing the word were...

If you were to cancel, I would be very surprised indeed!

The current question overlaps considerably with this earlier one asking about using future tense after if.

As has often been pointed out on ELL, English only really has two tenses (past, and "not-past"). And "hypothetical" scenarios such as might follow if are "orthogonal" to the past-present-future timeline anyway, so we're pretty flexible about the choice of tense.

1: If you cancel, I will go instead
2: If you cancelled, I would go instead
3: If you were to cancel, I would go instead
4: If you are cancelling, I will go instead
5: If you will cancel, I will go instead
etc., etc.

All the above are pretty much equivalent, except that using the modal will in #5 is more evocative of volition (i.e. - If you are willing to cancel...), so it's more likely to be used when making a request, rather than a simple statement.


Regarding OP's idea of the probability of the scenario being (or becoming) true, there's no difference implied by the actual choice of words. But if the speaker wishes to convey that he considers the scenario unlikely, he may well use OP's first format, stressing the word were...

If you were to cancel, I would be very surprised indeed!

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