'if you are interested' and 'if I may say so'

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Honki

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi.

According to a grammar book, sentences (1) and (2) below are grammatically correct and acceptable.

 (1) There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want them.
 (2) If he won't arrive before nine, there's no point in ordering for him.

But, I would like to know whether sentences (1') and (2') below can be used.

 (1') There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want them, if you are interested.
 (2') If I may say so, if he won't arrive before nine, there's no point in ordering for him.

Will you tell me whether sentences (1') and (2') are acceptable?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    (1') is odd because the two 'if'-phrases have the same social function and therefore conflict. There's no point in saying both. It would read better if the second one was a rephrasing of the first:

    (1'') There are biscuits on the sideboard if you want them – if you're interested.

    Here 'if you're interested' replaces 'if you want them': it doesn't create a complex "if you want them and you're interested".

    (2') sounds fine, as the two phrases serve entirely different social functions. The first introduces and excuses whatever I'm about to say, and the second is an integral grammatical part of the content.
     
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