Which of the following sentence sounds more correct/formal?

  1. I would appreciate it if you would…
  2. I would appreciate it if you did…

As for the first sentence, I know it is unusual to put would after if. However, I think there is an exception for politeness. As for the second sentence, I think that because it is a regular second condition it might sent the wrong message and not politeness. Thank you!

  • I don't think there's a direct comparison. Do you mean to put a "do" at the end of (1)? If so, I don't think there's much of a difference.
    – cruthers
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


The best option would be the following: "I would appreciate it if you could..." But from what you gave, the first option is better, as it is more polite and does not present the obligation or forcefulness of the second.

On the contrary, if there was an order, then "did" would be suitable, such as in "I would appreciate it if you did not do [thing]."


I'm assuming here that these examples are what you intend:

I would appreciate it if you would clean the table.
I would appreciate it if you cleaned the table.

If that's the case, both are correct and natural, and have the same meaning. The first is somewhat more polite than the second.

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