I can not determine the type or structure of this sentence. Is it inverted? If is not what is it? Why "should" at the beginning of the sentence?

Should global warming increase at this rate, our planet may be uninhabitable 50 years later.

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is inverted from "If global warming should increase". When "if" statements are inverted, the word "if" is omitted and the inversion itself is sufficient to convey the meaning. Similarly, "if it were to increase" can become "were it to increase", and "if it had increased" can be "had it increased".

"If global warming should increase" means much the same as "if global warming increases", though the "should" makes it a bit more formal and also emphasises the tentative or hypothetical nature of the condition.

  • Thanks, but I think didn't understand clearly. If and should, the connection between them is a bit confusing.
    – user123960
    Oct 24, 2021 at 12:19
  • "If it increases" and "if it should increase" mean the same thing (although the latter is more formal and makes the hypothetical nature of the event more explicit). "Should it increase" is the inverted form.
    – rjpond
    Oct 24, 2021 at 12:30

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