Consider these two sentences:

first one:

If he asks me I will accept his offer.

and the second one:

If he asked me I would accept his offer.

what is the exact difference between these two sentences?

Referring to my knowledge I think that the only difference is that the first sentence implies it is likely that he asks me but in the second it is unlikely that he asks me. Am I correct?

And my second question:

Is this sentence grammatically correct?

If he asks me I would accept his offer.

If it is correct what is the difference between this sentence and the upper ones?

1 Answer 1


The two are very similar in meaning. The first provides a condition (that the speaker thinks is possible) and an effect. The second provides a hypothetical (the speaker believes that this won't happen, but can imagine it and provide the consequence). The speaker could also say "If he had asked me, I would have accepted." This is now a counterfactual - The event didn't happen, but we can imagine the world in which it did.

The sentence "If he asks me, I would accept." is rather non-standard. We would generally not use a simple present "if" clause with "would", at least not if speaking carefully.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .