Should you have any question

Discussion in 'English Only' started by deslenguada, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. deslenguada

    deslenguada Senior Member

    Hello! The other day I read the following ending in a business letter example:

    "Should you have any question please do not hesitate to contact me..."

    What I found odd (to me) is the "should" on the beggining.
    Can anyone explain me why?

    Thank you.
  2. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    If you should (conditional) have any questions...

    Does that make it easier to understand?
  3. deslenguada

    deslenguada Senior Member


    I mean I understand the meaning and your reprasing is what I thought and how I would write it, but I wonder why of the "should" at the beggining,

    Thak you, tho. ;)
  4. biocrite Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    English and Hindi
    I don't understand your question.

    "Should you have" is the future/conditional of "Do you have."

    It's used as such so the statement represents a more vague representation of time. It doesn't demonstrate just "now" and the "present" but also the "future."

    Another way to make the same statement is "If you have" but this only represents future, and not conditional. And "If you will have" represents both, but is not in use because "should" is much easier to state than "if - will."

  5. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    It's just another way of expressing the second (or third) conditional by the means of auxiliary-subject inversion.
    More examples
    If I were to find a treasure I'd buy a castle.
    --> Were I to find a treasure, .....

    If he hadn't been there, we would have lost the game
    ---> Had he not been there, we.....

    In both sentences we have inverted the subject and the auxiliary (or modal). Plus we no longer need the if.

    It's both more idiomatic (in the sense that this wording is specific to English) and slightly more formal.
  6. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    "Should" is often used in a business context like this because to some people, it sounds more formal. In short, it replaces "if."

    There is also a subtle idea about "should" in that it is supposed to express a minimal amount of doubt.

    If you have any questions (I don't know if you will or not), please don't hesitate to ask.

    Should you have any questions (and I rather doubt you will), please don't hesitate to ask.
  7. deslenguada

    deslenguada Senior Member

    Thank you all! ;)
  8. Faramir Junior Member

    Catalan, Spanish
    I was wondering if this "should" construction could be used in the following context:

    << This forum is English Only. >>

    I'll do the trip, should I have been paid or not.

    It sounds weird to it right?
  9. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    I'll do the trip, should I have been paid or not. :cross:

    I'll do the trip whether I'm paid or not.

Share This Page