What is the meaning of "should this be the case" ?

Can you support your answer with examples?


  • 1
    Should this be is the (relatively formal) "subjunctive" version of if this is. And to be the case is a relatively formal way of saying to be true, to come to pass. Putting it all together, your example phrase is just a long-winded formal alternative to If [this is] so. Dec 23 '14 at 18:16
  • 1
    This phrase has multiple meanings depending on context. The two primary meanings are as a question ("Should this be the case?") and as a qualifier ("We will have to act, should this be the case.") Which version is your question about?
    – Jesse
    Dec 23 '14 at 18:18

Should X be the case, [then] Y generally means if X happens or becomes/is discovered true, Y.

Usually the "then" is understood and not written/spoken unless emphasis is needed.

Y will often be a direct or indirect request or call for (in)action of some sort.

The immediate thing that comes to mind with this expression is an expression of a contingency or "backup plan" of some sort.

I don't expect to be gone more than a day, but should this be the case, try to get back in touch with me.

That customer is getting belligerent. I don't think I will have problems escorting him out, but should this be the case, stay right behind me.

I don't think anything will happen to me, but should this be the case, please let Michael know.

I don't think any issues will happen, but should this be the case, be prepared to come up here and help me.

The weather doesn't look like it's going to be bad, but should this end up being the case, it's not smart to go.

Take a look in the jar over there. I don't think it's rotten, but should that be the case, throw it away.

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