0

The staircase was so narrow, I wondered how I would get past should I meet someone coming down?

I like to know what "should" means in this sentence. And what grammar is that?

1
  • 1
    If you check a dictionary for "should", you'll find multiple meanings. It can be used as a modal verb, as in your example.
    – Astralbee
    Apr 22 at 8:33
1

"Should" may be used instead of "if" in conditional clauses expressing hypothetical situations.

Using it, you might be suggesting that something is unlikely or not particularly probable:

If no one answers, please call back tomorrow.

Should no one answer, please call back tomorrow.

If I pass the test, I will graduate.

Should I pass the test, I will graduate.

Note that In the sentence

The staircase was so narrow that I wondered how I would get past should I meet someone coming down.

"meet" is the bare infinitive, whereas with "if", the sequence of times would require to use it in the past:

The staircase was so narrow that I wondered how I would get past if I met someone coming down.

1
  • Thank you for the elaborate answer.Really helpful ! Now I got it, SHOULD works as IF here.
    – Quan Lee
    Apr 22 at 11:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.