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A colleague is asking to have a look at my teaching material for one of my classes that he'll be teaching next term. What's the best answer to his request:

  • I would/will be glad to show? you the/my teaching material.
  • I'd be glad to show you the material (I'm using).

3 Answers 3

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Any of those would be fine.

But In fact it hardly matters what you say. I could go further: A careful, polite, and considered answer sounds almost fake. People are normally extra polite only when they want something. If are more polite than would be expected it would make me wonder what it is that you want.

There isn't a "best answer", but I'd probably just say "Okay" and then arrange details "Do you want to come by my office later?"

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There's quite a difference between the two. Modals (would vs will) affect the mood of a phrase. "I would be glad..." anticipates that a "but..." is going to follow, as in personally you have no problems showing it to them, but there was a virus on my computer and...

If there's no explanation to follow then it's still okay to use, it's just that mid sentence the reader/hearer will be getting this expectation.

"I'd be glad..." is a shortening of would. Because it's shorter and less formal there is less of an expectation mid sentence that you are going to continue with a dissapointing let down. Left as just "I'd be glad to.", will be barely different in mood from "I'll be glad to..."

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  • Thank you very much for this answer. so "I'd be glad to." (full stop) would be enough. do I get it right?
    – ostez
    Feb 18, 2018 at 21:28
  • Yes. Though I like the addition of the initial "Of course." By JeremyC that sets the mood. Feb 18, 2018 at 23:44
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Do you want to be helpful or not? If you do, then @James K is right, as he usually is. If you don't, then convolutions of " I would, but..." have to be used.

In very polite circles in England, you could certainly say in response to a request that you wish to agree to, " I should be delighted..". In that context, the doubt apparently implied by the grammar is illusory. You have to envisage that the request comes from someone so high and mighty that the respondent, in politeness, can only imagine that it has been made and can therefore only reply in a tense or mood that implies doubt: "If his Royal Highness were to condescend to ask his humble servant... then that servant should be delighted...".

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  • Thank you JeremyC for your reply. I don't know the said colleague, we'll be meeting for the first time, that's why I thought okay might a bit informal
    – ostez
    Feb 18, 2018 at 22:45
  • Not really a matter of grammar, but in the circumstances you describe I would say something like "Of course. I'd be glad to show you my material." The context removes the need for such words as "...that I am using..". The period/full stop after "of course" is quite important. With just a comma it would sound as if you have some reservations about helping.
    – JeremyC
    Feb 18, 2018 at 22:56
  • Yes. But always assuming that you do indeed want to help him!
    – JeremyC
    Feb 18, 2018 at 23:13

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