1

"If you would just tell me, it would be easier for the both of us" Why is there "would" after "if"? It has to be an exception because normally you can't do it.

13
  • You say why is there "if" after "would" in the body and "would" after "if" in the heading. There are two instances of would in the sentence, so maybe you could explain which you want rid of.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 13, 2023 at 15:08
  • @StuartF Of course, I mean the first "would"
    – Kyamond
    Nov 13, 2023 at 15:15
  • There is no "if" after either "would". can you clarify. Is "if" a typo for "it" in your question? i.e. "Why is there 'it' after 'would'". Nov 13, 2023 at 15:25
  • @timchessish Oh, right, it's a typo. I fixed it
    – Kyamond
    Nov 13, 2023 at 15:26
  • 1
    I don't know what you mean by 'normally you can't do it'. If only you would... and if you would just... are perfectly normal ways to express a wish that someone would do something which they seem reluctant to do. Nov 13, 2023 at 16:28

2 Answers 2

2

From Cambridge Grammar of English:

Modal verbs (most typically will or would) may occur in conditional clauses if they have a meaning of willingness or prediction, or where it is important to mark politeness:

If you’ll wait a minute, I’ll fetch the porter to help you.
If you would all follow me, I’ll show you to your rooms.
If you would have allowed them more time, I still think they would have done better. (if you had been willing to allow them more time)

OP's sentence: If you would just tell me, it would be easier for the both of us

If we take would there having a meaning of willingness, then the possible paraphrase is:

If you were just willing to tell me, it would be easier for the both of us.

7
  • So in polite requests: If you will -> if you are willing to. If you would -> if you were willing to ?
    – Kyamond
    Nov 14, 2023 at 10:29
  • @Kyamond Yes, it has that meaning.
    – user424874
    Nov 14, 2023 at 10:45
  • This is not right"If you would have allowed them more time, I still think they would have done better". It's: If you had allowed them more time, I still think they would have done better.
    – Lambie
    Nov 14, 2023 at 15:29
  • And: If you follow me, I'll show you to your rooms. No need for will. Only the first sentence is correct.
    – Lambie
    Nov 14, 2023 at 15:30
  • 1
    "If you would all follow me..." is fine as a polite request. Nov 14, 2023 at 16:16
1

Question:

"If you would just tell [or told me] me, it would be easier for the both of us" Why is there "would" after "if"? It has to be an exception because normally you can't do it.

Answer: Because the sentence is grammatically poor.

Compare:

There is no need at all for the first would.

"If you just tell me, it would be easier for the both of us".

The conditional nature of the sentence is maintained. People just throw would in all over the place and it just does not stick. [joke]

This is a mixed conditional as the present tense is used in the first clause and would in the second.

A standard conditional would be: If you tell me, it will be easier for both of us.
OR: If you told me, it would be easier for both of us.

13
  • That makes sense. I thought it was an exception. The sentence comes from the game "Ace attorney"
    – Kyamond
    Nov 13, 2023 at 16:48
  • @Lambie Hi! I hope you are fine! I upvoted your good answer! English is not my mother language. I will never be fluent in English like you! Nov 14, 2023 at 8:39
  • @Kyamond Often, the kids who write these games are clueless and you have chosen a mistaken answer.
    – Lambie
    Nov 14, 2023 at 15:32
  • 1
    @Lambie I don't get why you consider these sentences incorrect when two english grammar books say that you can use "if ... will/would" in polite requests. And every sources I've read say that you can use "would" in the other clause. Practical English Usage gives even an example with two "would": "I would be grateful if you would send me information about the regulations for admission to the Hall School of Design. "
    – Kyamond
    Nov 14, 2023 at 21:58
  • 1
    @Lambie Also "akwardness" of sentences is subjective. English doesn't have rules what is akward and what is not.
    – Kyamond
    Nov 14, 2023 at 22:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .