Please let me know if some mail order company will be stocking this book.

I think I can use the future tense here, because there are two alternatives: they will stock or they won't stock. I could replace 'if' by 'whether' so the future should be permitted. Is my understanding correct?

  • 1
    I can't make sense of "some mail order". Do you just mean you, because the person you're asking works for the mail order company that you might wish to buy this book from, if and when they stock it. Who are you speaking to? Do you already know for sure they don't currently have the book in stock? Note that if and whether mean the same, so that tells us nothing. Sep 23, 2023 at 17:38
  • mail order company
    – Lambie
    Sep 23, 2023 at 19:53

1 Answer 1

  • please let me know if some mail order will be stocking this book

Yes, this works. "Will" lets us know that it is happening in the future.

  • please let me know whether some mail order will be stocking this book

Yes, this works too, since there are exactly two possibilities, as you pointed out.

However, a mail order usually doesn't do the job of stocking books. This may be the company handling the mail orders, or some 3rd party. You could just use "they'll be stocking this book" or "they'll have this book in stock" (more natural than "stocking," which is still natural sounding but not frequently used) or the passive "the book will be stocked."

  • 1
    "mail order" is a sales model, not a company capable of stocking anything. And "some" there looks casual / dismissive - we'd usually ask whether any mail order company will stock a book. Sep 23, 2023 at 20:55
  • @FumbleFingers Yes, this is right
    – BigMistake
    Sep 23, 2023 at 22:56

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