if we had or if we will

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  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would use the first but only because it is less wordy. I feel no difference in the politeness of either.
     

    m0nchichi

    Senior Member
    So there is no tense confusion? I wasn't sure because normally 'will' puts it in the future tense and 'had' in the past tense. In German though, 'if we had' is the future in the past e.g. They asked me if I had a car but I said no because I didn't want to give them a ride ( I still have that car).
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The tense refers to when you have space. Assuming that you are not planning to add or remove rooms in between now and then, the space that you have now is the space you will have then so the tense is not important.
    I have space for you now and I will have space for you when you arrive.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    So there is no tense confusion? I wasn't sure because normally 'will' puts it in the future tense and 'had' in the past tense. In German though, 'if we had' is the future in the past e.g. They asked me if I had a car but I said no because I didn't want to give them a ride ( I still have that car).

    Ah, but telling them you did not have a car because you didn't want to give them a ride, is hardly polite. The tense has no impact at all in the politeness; the intent does however.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Probably there is no possibility of rooms being added or removed :rolleyes:.

    There might be the possibility, however, of other visitors moving out in the near future - which would mean that, even though your house is full at the moment, you "will have enough room" for your friend to come and stay with you next week.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    For the second form of the question, I would say:
    - He asked me if we would have enough space for him to stay.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    There might be the possibility, however, of other visitors moving out in the near future - which would mean that, even though your house is full at the moment, you "will have enough room" for your friend to come and stay with you next week.
    Yes. With no other context, I'm assuming that this is more or less the same day, the immediate future.
    He asked me if we had enough space for him to stay.
    He knows we have company now but he asked me if we will have enough space for him to stay next week. ;)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    For the second form of the question, I would say:
    - He asked me if we would have enough space for him to stay.
    If the stay is still in the future at the time of the reported sentence, it's not necessary to back-shift "will". Again, context would be helpful.
     

    m0nchichi

    Senior Member
    OK I'll give you the context. I'm moving to California in two weeks and my parents asked me if they could join us ( my fiancee and me) in the near future, given we will have enough space for them to stay. This depends on whether or not we will be able to afford a house. I wrote my fiancee on WhatsApp telling her : My parents asked me if they could join us after some time and if we had enough space for them to stay then.


    Ah, but telling them you did not have a car because you didn't want to give them a ride, is hardly polite. The tense has no impact at all in the politeness; the intent does however.
    Well it was a made up sentence.
     
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