3

The famous line from Mission Impossible film:

Your mission should you choose to accept it.

The problem is this structure does not seem natural; I think it wants to convey:

You should choose to accept your mission.

From the usage, it seems it's an order(!), but I am still in doubt which mood it is in. If it is an order, why is "should" used? Using "must" would have sounded more natural!

3

In this case I think a comma might help to make things more clear:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it[, is the following...].

What they are saying is, here is some information about your mission (if you decide you want to accept the mission). "Should you choose to accept it" means "If you decide to go on this mission". They could have said instead:

If you choose to accept your mission, this is what we need you to do...

So it is definitely a declarative sentence; no one is being ordered to accept the mission, and there isn't even a direct request. They are simply saying "If you choose to accept this mission, here's what you need to know."

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  • I think your final "paraphrasing" implicitly acknowledges a point that you've somewhat skated over in the preceding text. It's only your mission if you do choose to accept it. If you don't, it's just a or this mission. In fact, it might not even be a mission at all if you don't accept it, since we've no reason to suppose it will necessarily be offered to anyone else instead. You may be the only feasible candidate. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 6 '13 at 4:56
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It's an implicative conditional because of the "should you choose to accept it", which translates into "if you choose to accept it". It's declarative, not imperative (order), and it's an offer, not a request. It's perfectly natural, only some speakers would use if instead of should.

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