What the difference between two bold sentences is?

I am sorry to state that I applied for a new telephone on 05.02.2016. Though more than two years have passed since the application, I have not received the new connection yet nor have I been informed at what stage my application for the connection is at present. Kindly let me know when I can expect the connection.

I shall be highly obliged if you take immediate steps in this regard.
I would be highly obliged if you would take immediate steps in this regard.

My question is, are both the bold sentences correct In the above context? If yes, what is the difference between them?

1 Answer 1


The first sentence is certainly correct although the difference between "shall" and "will" has largely disappeared in modern American English. (But I have no knowledge of such nuances in Indian English.) The second sentence is what many Americans might well use instead. I am old fashioned enough that I would substitute "if you took" for "if you would take."

As a matter of personal style, the sentence appears very stilted and adds nothing substantive. If I were writing from scratch, I'd probably end with "Please let me know promptly when I can expect the connection," but place it in a separate paragraph. But that is my sense of style, not a comment on grammar or idiom.

  • I don't think "if you took" is old-fashioned. It reads better, given that, as you point out, the sentence looks stilted and unsubstantive. Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 15:47
  • 50 years ago, "took" would have been mandatory in the schools I went to, but today few use the old rules on sequence of tenses. Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 20:42

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