A current trend on TikTok is captioned: "If you would not date yourself, you should lower your standards."

The sentence makes sense to me and seems grammatical. However, I keep telling people that more often than not would in the if-clause is technically wrong, but here I can't seem to find anything wrong with it. Please enlighten me.


1 Answer 1


I found an explanation in Martin Hewings' Advanced Grammar in Use.

"We don't usually use if ... will in conditional clauses. However, we can use if ... will in requests [I knew about that; if + would for a polite request] or with the meaning 'if you are willing to' [...]

This fits the given example: If you would [as the simple past of will in this type II conditional with a hypothetical/impossible condition] not [i.e. If you are not willing to] date yourself, you should [modal verb used for conditional I constructions, so this should be a mixed conditional] lower your standards.

Correct me if I am wrong.

  • As you posted this as an answer, this question is no longer appears as open (maybe half open as the answer is not accepted). I think you should delete it and put this to the question by editing it. Commented May 9, 2023 at 12:13

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