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Friday 20 May 2011

which one is correct ? I will be grateful if you will/would give me an early reply.

One of my most ardent and frequent readers, Dr. A.M Babu posted a query in the comment box. Which of the following usages is correct?
a) I will be grateful if you would give me an early reply.
b) I will be grateful if you will give me an early reply.

I am afraid, both these usages are incorrect. Let’s discuss it:

Sometimes we talk about things which are not facts, situations which are true in certain circumstances or under certain conditions. Usually these sentences contain if or a similar word. There are likely conditions, unlikely conditions, impossible conditions and general conditions.

Likely conditions: Things which are very likely to happen fall into this category. In this, two portions of the sentences are connected by if. While the tense of the first half is simple future the second half needs to be in present simple.
a) The doctor will see you if you come at nine
b) We will miss the bus if we don’t hurry
c) They won’t come if the weather is bad.
So, Dr. Babu’s sentence must be I willl be grateful if you give me an early reply since this is a likely condition.

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