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If he asks you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

If he will ask you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

If he asked you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

If he should ask you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

I am wondering to find out the difference between these, which I believe may be in subjunctive mood also.

An edit:I am not sure about the third sentence but I certainly have seen sentences like this-

If you added a screenshot of what you are trying to press, it would be helpful.

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    The ask after which we use subjuntive means request not question. More over you don't have a subjunctive after ask. They are in a way reporting sentences in different tenses and the possible answer that may be given. And I think the difference between them is that they are in different tenses. And about your 3rd sentence, I think you need to change it. It's not correct. You need something like, If he had asked you about disobedience, you could/would tell her.. – user33000 Aug 20 '16 at 5:07
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    @Avicenna Of the sentences, the third is the best composed of the three, and is perfectly grammatical (except for the disagreement in gender.) – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 20 '16 at 5:11
  • *If he had asked you about disobedience, you could/would tell him... – user33000 Aug 20 '16 at 5:26
  • @P.E.Dant I'm struggling to understand time consistency in the 3rd sentence. Would you guide me a little bit ? – Cardinal Aug 20 '16 at 6:19
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    @Cardinal My apologies. It's the fourth sentence that I meant to say is (to me) the best composed. The third is nonsensical from a temporal perspective. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 20 '16 at 6:41
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1.If he asks you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

That’s right. It’s for talking about a situation in the future which the speaker thinks is quite possible.

2.If he will ask you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

Will after if shows insistence.

*3.If he asked you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

This sentence is incorrect. The imperative isn't used with the second conditional. In order to express the same idea you can say,

If he asked you about disobedience, you could/should tell him that I didn't listen to you as I always do.

4.If he should ask you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

SHOULD can be used after IF in clauses referring to the future to show that the indicated action is even less likely to happen.(If he happens to ask you...)

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  • Imperative isn't used with the second conditional. I believe an article is missing. – Anubhav Singh Aug 21 '16 at 8:05
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If he asks you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

You are asking someone to tell him "I did not listen to you as I always do" if that person asks you about disobedience.

If he will ask you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

"If he will ask you about disobedience" - this sounds like you are telling (in a strong manner, saying "You will X" as a command is a very authoritative way of speaking) a separate someone to ask you about disobedience. So this is confusing. Using will to refer to the future is not necessary here.

If he asked you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

You are asking someone to tell him "I did not listen to you as I always do" if that person asked you about disobedience. If they did not ask you, then they don't want you to tell him anything.

If he should ask you about disobedience, tell him that I did not listen to you as I always do.

"If he should ask you about disobedience" - this sounds like you expect him to ask about disobedience, but there is a chance he may not ask you about disobedience. There's no confusion here like there is with will. This can sound a bit formal or authoritative but not as harsh as using will.

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  • Thanks for your kind efforts. Could you explain the third construction: You are asking someone to tell him "I did not listen to you as I always do" if that person asked you about disobedience. If they did not ask you, then they don't want you to tell him anything, please? – Anubhav Singh Aug 20 '16 at 15:06

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