What does this sentence mean

If it does not rain in the next 7 days, could you please water the flowerpot

Does it mean that I' ve heard the infos before and know that it won't rain or does it mean this eventuality may happen but I'm not sure or both of them

  • 1
    Are the definite articles confusing you? I'm not sure what you mean by "I've heard the information before." Also, are you more confused by the first part of the phrase, or the second?
    – J.R.
    Jul 18, 2018 at 11:18
  • I mean that I ve heard the weather broadcast first and they have predicted that it should not rain in the next seven days
    – Yves Lefol
    Jul 18, 2018 at 13:16
  • A forecast is just a forecast, and a prediction is only a prediction. Sometimes rain happens, even when it's unexpected.
    – J.R.
    Jul 18, 2018 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


This is a conditional request.

A simple (type 1) conditional such "If it doesn't rain, I will water the flowerpots" express a possible condition (not raining) and its probable result (I water the flowerpot).

Your sentence has a request instead of a result. The condition (not raining in 7 days) is possible; it may happen but I'm not sure. After 7 days and there hasn't been any rain then I ask you to water the flowerpot. If it does rain then I don't ask you for anything.

The situation would normally when you expect not to see the person. For example "I'm going on holiday for two weeks. If it doesn't rain in the next seven days...". I am asking now, so not "will ask".

This is very common pattern:

If you like fish, please try my sushi.

If the car is working, can you pick me up?

If your son passes his exam, please ask him to apply for a job.

In all cases the condition is possible.

  • Why ask and not will ask in your answer as it is not now but in 7 days is it because the request is asked now
    – Yves Lefol
    Jul 18, 2018 at 13:22
  • Yes, the conditional request is being made now.
    – James K
    Jul 18, 2018 at 13:48
  • Does your last example mean that the son must apply for a job now even he hasn't received his result or does it mean that he can apply for a job once he has received his result.I am a bit confused because ask is present simple or is it because the request is done now
    – Yves Lefol
    Jul 19, 2018 at 9:10
  • No. he should apply after passing the exam. This is a request which uses the imperative form of a verb. The imperative form is not the same as the present. The imperative doesn't have tense. If you have further questions can you ask a new question, rather than adding comments.
    – James K
    Jul 19, 2018 at 9:20
  • @James K Hi! You answered a question today. Somebody downvoted the question and your answer. I upvoted them because they don't deserve downvotes! Feb 29 at 9:17

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