I'm wondering something that if we can use ''will'' after ''hope'' and ''if''. Normally I thought or rather I learnt we could never use ''will'' after ''hope or if'' but I came across these usages while I was watching tv series that is doctor who (classic one). I know sometimes we could come across grammatical errors in the tv series or movies but I don't think BBC could make a mistake like that. I don't remember in which episode but I'm sure I saw these usages.

So is it okay if we use like that or has that rule changed afterwards? Because that episode of doctor who was released in 1964.

  • Please give us an example of the usage that you are referring to. (PS. BBC TV series scripts are not a good place to look for correct grammar. They are written to reflect the way that ordinary people speak.) Nov 6, 2019 at 19:28
  • @Ronald, I would normally agree, but the doctors from older series usually have pretty good grammar.
    – Gamora
    Nov 7, 2019 at 10:56

2 Answers 2


There is no restriction on using will after hope: it's not required, but it is (I think) always possible if the meaning is future. I find no difference in meaning between:

I hope I can do it.

I hope I will be able to do it.

If is a different case. We don't use will for simple futurity. We can use it for be willing, as in the polite requests that Mike McKeown mentions in his answer, but also more literally:

If he will see you, ...

means "if he is willing to see you, if he agrees to see you"

There is also a special use with emphatic will:

If you will keep doing that ...

which expresses annoyance or frustration at the action mentioned.


In English we can use "will" after "if" when we wish to ask another person to do something.

"If you will just step this way"

"If you will just sign your name here"

These mean "please do this".

This is a extremely polite, formal and "posh" way of speaking that you would rarely hear these days, but you would very probably come across it on old BBC programmes!

  • If you will.... is also used informally, especially as a request when working in cooperation with someone. For example: If you will hold the dog still for a moment, I will loosen its collar. and If you will lay the table, I will serve dinner. Nov 7, 2019 at 0:59
  • @RonaldSole That is still a very formal but less polite way to make a request. A more informal and casual way would be to say "Can you keep the dog still?" A more polite way would be "Would you mind keeping the dog still for a moment, please?"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 13, 2019 at 11:34

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