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Let's say I want to write an instruction for Amazon delivery and wanna say, if you faced the closed door, please put my package behind the door.

  1. If the door was closed, please put the package behind the door.
  2. If the door is closed, please put the package behind the door.
  3. If the door would be closed, please put the package behind the door.
  4. If the door will be closed, please put the package behind the door.
  5. If the door might be closed, please put the package behind the door.

2 Answers 2

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The short answer is #2:

If the door is closed, please put the package behind the door.

I'm not really sure how you do that when the door is closed, but that's not relevant I suppose.

You're talking to the delivery driver about what's happening as he's doing the delivery, so you typically use the present tense. Think of it as his present tense.

You can rule out #1 because it's the past tense and the delivery driver hasn't even arrived yet.

It's possible that #3 could be considered grammatically correct, but you don't use "would" to describe a door as open or closed. You typically use it to describe something that has the potential to be something else.

#4 is the future tense.

#5 isn't a correct sentence.

Even though #5 isn't valid, it's the closest thing to an alternative you might use. For example:

The door might be closed. If it is, please put the package behind the door.

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  • Thank you. Why "Behind the door" isn't possible? Maybe I should have said "In front of the door?"
    – GoodMan
    Nov 5, 2022 at 6:27
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    Probably "in front of the door" or "next to the door." If the door is closed, you can't really get behind it. Nov 5, 2022 at 6:33
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2 is correct.

If + present

If the door is closed...

We use the simple present in the if-clause to indicate future. We cannot use 'will' in this case.

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