1

What is the difference between these two sentences?

  1. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
  2. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

I find it odd when people use first sentence because of "should". When should I use "sentence 1" and when should I use "sentence 2"?

5

You find it often on company's websites where they want to tell that whenever customers find any difficulty, they can contact them without any hesitation.

In fact, I was surprised looking at a sentence that I read once.

Should I die, take care of my daughter!

That made me look into the dictionary and other thesaurus to have a clear idea. And, I found that when used in this context, it denotes possibility.

Cambridge Dictionary defines it:

should modal verb (POSSIBILITY)

[formal] used when referring to a possible event in the future

The examples follow:

Should you (= if you) ever need anything, please don't hesitate to contact me.

The example talks exactly the same of your concern.

So, both the sentences are correct and say the same thing. However, the first one is more formal and in use by professionals.

  • Does that mean that using "should" is a more polite way to express possibility? – avazula Oct 3 '18 at 8:16
  • Yes, in many corporate emails you may find this. @avazula – Maulik V Oct 4 '18 at 6:55
1

You can use "should" instead of "if" for describing a situation that may possibly happen. They are interchangeable, with the only difference that the use of "should" is formal. "if" is used both in written and spoken English, but it's more common in spoken English.

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