How likely <are you> <would you be > .... if it <were><is>…?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by meijin, Dec 7, 2018 at 1:39 PM.

  1. meijin

    meijin Senior Member

    Tokyo
    Japanese
    Hi, let's say you've developed a high-quality software program and decided to conduct an online survey before deciding its price. The questionnaire explains that the software will be released soon, and shows a video explaining its features. After the video, the questionnaire asks one of the following.

    1. How likely are you to buy this program if it is $100?
    2. How likely are you to buy buy this program if it were $100?
    3. How likely would you be to buy this program if it were $100?
    4. How likely would you be to buy this program if it is $100?


    Since the program has already been developed and will be released soon, I think #3 and #4 would sound odd, because they use the subjunctive "
    would you be".
    (And "
    if it is" in #4 seems wrong to me when the program has not been developed yet.)

    Only #2 seems correct to me. How about you?
     
  2. coiffe

    coiffe Senior Member

    Cambodia
    English (USA)
    #4 is not right, because the verb should be "were" instead of "is."
    The best is #3, in my opinion, although you will probably see the #1 structure in many ads.

    Note: The problem with #2 is not the grammar, but the audial clash between "are" and "were." It's not wrong, but it's slightly distracting.
     
  3. meijin

    meijin Senior Member

    Tokyo
    Japanese
    You're right about #3. I was overthinking the differences between the four sentences. Whether the program has already been developed or not is irrelevant.
    I'm a little surprised to know that the #1 structure is used in many ads.
     

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