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Should or If

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Rozy123, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Rozy123 New Member

    Hindi
    Hi there,
    I have read many sentences where 'should' is used instead of 'if'.

    Like should you need any help,....

    I need to know is there any particular rule where we can use 'should' instead of 'If.'

    Thanks.
     
  2. lifeandjoy Junior Member

    Indonesia
    Indonesia
    Is that in a beginning of a sentence? If so, then it might be a form of If clauses where we could omit the 'if'.
    So, the complete sentence should be "If you should need any help, ..........."

    Could you post the complete sentence?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  3. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    No. "Should" seems a little more formal to me. And at least in AE, "If" is more common.
     
  4. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    I agree with lifeandjoy. We should have a complete sentence with every question, so that we don't accidentally mislead you if you have something different in mind from what we guess you do.
     
  5. Alby84 Senior Member

    Boston
    American English
    I'm with Parla. I use should like that in writing all the time, but rarely in speech. Perhaps in a formal presentation or some other type of discourse, but very rarely in everyday conversation.
     
  6. Rozy123 New Member

    Hindi
    Thanks all of you for your help.
    That means, we can use if with should in writing, but not in speech.
    So, for example in a sentence like this: If I were you, I would've gone to meet her.
    We can write: Should I were you, I would've gone to meet her.

    My main question is now, can we simply replace if with should in all sentences or there are some limitations to it.

    Thanks
     
  7. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    This shows the usefulness of an example. :)

    No, you cannot substitute should for if in a sentence like this, either in writing or speech:

    If I were you, I would've gone to meet her. Yes. :tick:
    [Should I were you, I would've gone to meet her.] No. :cross:
     
  8. lifeandjoy Junior Member

    Indonesia
    Indonesia
    No, I don't think so. 'If I were you' should be 'Were I you,........'.


    'If' is not simply replaced with 'should'.You can omit 'if' when there is 'were'/'had'/'should' in the sentence. Then, the subject and verb are inverted.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  9. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "Should I were you" is ungrammatical. "Should I" must be followed by the bare infinitive. So:
    "Should I were you, I would've gone to meet her." :cross:
    "If I had been you, I would've gone to meet her" :tick: is of course correct, but there is a possible alternative that doesn't contain "if": "Had I been you, I would've gone to meet her." :tick:
     

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