Which is the correct sentence:

Will you wait for me?


Would you wait for me?

would sounds pretty polite.

  • 1
    Please see Not so fast! (When should I accept my answer?). Especially this: You might wait 24 to 48 hours to give other people a chance to give you a better answer. A question with an accepted answer isn't as likely to receive further attention as one without an accepted answer.
    – user20792
    Aug 28 '15 at 15:16

They are both polite enough, in that sense there is no difference.

The difference in meaning is between the Future Indefinite ("will you") and subjunctive mood ("would you wait") is that in the former case the necessity for waiting is known to the speaker and the party whom the speaker is asking, whereas the latter ("would") suggests that the need for waiting is yet not certain, or even hypothetical.

  • Sometimes would is used for deference. I think in that case it is short for a longer phrase like "If it pleases you, would you...?" (which is grammatically in the subjunctive even though the situation would normally require the indicative).
    – Wim Lewis
    Aug 28 '15 at 22:48

Both sentences are "correct."

Would does indicate politeness/deference, and will can be used in "not certain" or "hypothetical" situations:

Will you wait for me if I asked you nice(ly)?

Would you wait for me if I asked you nice(ly)?

Here, would shows more deference ( ~= politeness). While, will, as usual when talking about future time, talks about the current resolve of the--in this case--the person being asked, to carry out a future action. It is neutral as far as deference/politeness.

As for your sentences, then, use would to be more polite/deferential.


'Would you wait for me?' is you trying to figure out if they'd do it.

'Will you wait for me?' is asking them to do it.

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