1. Should you be lucky to invite the Seoul,
  2. If you are lucky to invite the Seoul,

What is the difference between the two sentences in meaning? And what is the reason we change the order from 'you should' into 'should you'?


Allow me to amend your phrases and then explain the difference (assuming this is addressing someone who may be invited to Seoul):

  1. Should you be lucky enough to be invited to Seoul,
  2. If you are lucky enough to be invited to Seoul,

They both mean the same thing, as they both show that this person may or may not be invited to Seoul. There is very little difference.

Saying 'you should' would suggest that this person should expect to be invited to Seoul, and 'should you' would imply that they may, or may not be invited.

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As a former English teacher, I think I may be able to help with the answer. "If" is used when the 2nd part of the sentence is contingent on the first. "Should" means "in the event that". Allow me to illustrate using an example:

You are inviting a friend to a play and say:

"The play begins at 7. Should you be late, there are ushers to help you find your seat."

....the ushers would be there anyway. Their presence is not contingent on your friend being late.

If you were to say:

"If you are late, there are ushers to help you find your seat."

....it would mean that ushers would suddenly materialize IF and ONLY IF your friend were to be late.

So, a better example for "if" would be:

"If you are late, you will miss the welcome speech my sister is giving."

....in the last example, being late = missing the speech. Whereas, being late does not equal the presence of ushers.

I hope this helps. It's very subtle, but there is a slight difference.

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These are two variants of the first conditional form. The "Should you" is an inverted form (see Wikipedia).

There is no practical difference, choosing which one to use is a matter of preference and style. In American English the inverted form is less common in casual speech and can be considered more formal.

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