1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

If you Will Recall

Discussion in 'English Only' started by HSS, May 19, 2009.

  1. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Hi, I tend to say just "if you recall" myself, but I hear "if you will recall" too. Does the latter have more of the "trying" sense?

    [1] I don't think I wanted to come here in the first place. Ben did invite me, if you recall.
    [2] I don't think I wanted to come here in the first place. Ben did invite me, if you will recall.

    Best,

    Hiro
     
  2. jonjonsin Junior Member

    English - American
    You are correct. "Will" does impart that the second person is able to recall and can decide if she will or not. The former implies that she may recall or maybe she forgot.

    Is this conversational? If it is, I think I would use "remember" as opposed to recall. This could just be dialect.
     
  3. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    I don't know anyone who says "If you recall." I only hear (and say) "If you'll recall". The contraction may make it sound like "If you recall" but that doesn't work in this context. Saying "Ben did invite me, if you recall/remember" isn't logical. If we are concerned about whether someone recalls or not we would use "do/don't" ie: "Don't you remember that Ben invited me?"

    "If you will recall" assumes that the listener does remember and is said as a reminder/reinforcement.
     
  4. Cagey non modo mod

    California
    English - US
    Whether or not it is logical, some of us do say "if you remember/recall" as in this sentence. It is a mild way of reminding the listener of something we believe she or he already knows, without changing the subject to whether or not the listener remembers it.

    "Don't you remember?" becomes an interaction about the listener's memory.
     
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Curious.
    I would not include will and indeed I don't know anyone who says "If you will recall" :)
    Ben did invite me, if you recall (remember).
     
  6. Cagey non modo mod

    California
    English - US
    I hear "If you will recall" as more demanding, and possibly argumentative in some situations. I think this is close to jonjonsin's point in post #2.
     
  7. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    I think you're right, Cagey. When I hear this, I hear an emphasis on "will", often with a tone of exasperation. I don't hear that distinction with the contraction, "you'll", however.
     
  8. jonjonsin Junior Member

    English - American
    I believe that some contractions can change the connotation of an expression. This leads me to believe that contractions are becoming more independent of what they grammatically represent. For example, "I can't." versus "I can not."
     

Share This Page