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Let's say you wanted to try a class online, but you have got a tight schedule and you doubt that it might work. You say it correctly by:

I will try the Thursday cooking class, if this will improve my cooking skills.

Or

I will try the Thursday cooking class, if this would improve my cooking skills.

What tense should I use. I know how to use both "will" and "would" BUT this case is something different... I think.

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    Are you asking the other person if it will work, or you're saying you'll try it in order to find out if it works? – SamBC Mar 25 '19 at 0:34
  • As @SamBC notes, the sentence is unclear as worded (either wording). "if this will/would work" refers to... what? "this" refers to "try"? It doesn't really make sense. "I will try the Thursday online class if my schedule permits" is clear - the "if" refers to the tight schedule. – Edward Barnard Mar 25 '19 at 1:21
  • @SamBC, that is a statement type. No other person is involved. – John Arvin Mar 25 '19 at 4:40
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    @EdwardBarnard, I've edited it for clarity. – John Arvin Mar 25 '19 at 4:41
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Edward Barnard is right. Your use of the word "this" makes your meaning unclear. Another alternative (besides the one Mr. Barnard gave you) would be to say:

"I will try the Thursday afternoon class and see how it works out." Your use of the future tense works in that sentence.

If you were to say, "I will try it, if it will work," you would be clear in meaning, but your logic would be off. When you say you will try something or try to do something, you are implying that you aren't sure if it will work or not. You don't know if it will work until you do try it. If you already know it will work, there is no doubt in that case. So it's important to get the tense right, but it's also important that your sentences make sense and show good logic.

Another possibility if you want to use "would" is to say: "I would try the Thursday online class if I thought it might work." Or you could say, "I would try the Thursday online class if thought it would work."

The word "would" is not really a "tense." Tenses refer to time. Words like "would" express doubt or possibility.

| improve this answer | |
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    Oh yeah modals. Please see the updated – John Arvin Mar 25 '19 at 4:43
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    With the edits you made, your two sentences are fine. I would put a comma between "class" and "if" in both sentences. – Don B. Mar 25 '19 at 4:50
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    Which of them is correct? – John Arvin Mar 25 '19 at 4:55
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    Both are now correct. Remember, "would" is not a "tense" word. Both your sentences use the future tense. – Don B. Mar 25 '19 at 4:56

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