If you would like or should you like??

sabye

Member
france
Hi

What is the best sentence:
If you would like to make a reservation at the same place where we will be staying, ...
Should you like to make a reservation at teh same place where we will be staying, ...

Thanks in advance for your help

Sabye
 
  • Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    sabye said:
    Hi

    What is the best sentence:
    If you would like to make a reservation at the same place where we will be staying, ...
    Should you like to make a reservation at the same place where we will be staying, ...
    I think the first is a specific invitation, while the second is more of a supposition-invitation suggesting that the offer is open for a long time. Thus in this instance you would use the first.

    Examples:
    If you would like to join us for tea this afternoon, please let me know.
    Should you (ever) come to these parts [i.e., a region], you are welcome to stay with me.

    In the first person, "should" over "would" is a different story.
    I would like to know what he is saying about me behind my back
    I should (very much) like to know what he is saying about me behind my back = emphatic tone, somewhat indignant
    But "should" over "would" can be nice as well:
    Billy: Would you like to go with me to the park to fly a kite?
    Sally: I should like to very much!

    In your two sentences, the difference is subtle.

    Z.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The first sentence seems natural to me, the second is strange.

    If your sentence did not include "same" it would be perfectly OK.
    The second sentence is better without same, but still very stilted.
     

    Moogey

    Senior Member
    USA English
    panjandrum said:
    The first sentence seems natural to me, the second is strange.

    If your sentence did not include "same" it would be perfectly OK.
    The second sentence is better without same, but still very stilted.
    I would use the 2nd sentence more often than the 1st. I think it helps make me sound like I'm speaking very proper English. I try to speak very proper English. But, I don't know anybody else that would use the 2nd sentence. That's because most of the people I know unfortunately don't value the English language and speaking it properly as I do.

    -M
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I hasard that the second sentence sounds so strange because in changing 'would' to 'should' you lose the special meaning normally expressed by the set phrase 'would like'.

    'Would like' is a polite way of saying 'want', which could use perfectly well in the second sentence:

    If you want to make a reservation...
    Should you want to make a reservation...

    If you would like to make a reservation...
    Should you ... like to make a reservation...

    But as it is, in the second sentence the 'should' swallows up the 'would' that is necessary to retain the meaning of 'want', and 'like' is left dangling. What you would need to say is: 'Should you would like to make a reservation...', but grammatically it's not possible.
     

    Moogey

    Senior Member
    USA English
    sabye said:
    Thanks to each of you for your help and advice
    If you're thanking me, Isotta, panjandrum, and me, (three of us), I would say "Thanks to all of you..." By definition, I don't think "each" means two, but in your sentence it tends to imply two (at least that's what I think). But there isn't anything wrong with it. And you're welcome :)

    -M
     

    jdenson

    Senior Member
    USA / English
    Moogey said:
    If you're thanking me, Isotta, panjandrum, and me, (three of us), I would say "Thanks to all of you..." By definition, I don't think "each" means two, but in your sentence it tends to imply two (at least that's what I think). But there isn't anything wrong with it. And you're welcome :)

    -M
    "My thanks to each of you" means that each person is being thanked individually. "My thanks to all of you" means that all are being thanked as members of the group. Both are correct.

    JD
     

    boonognog

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I agree with Isotta, and with Panj...

    Invitation: Would you like to make a reservation with us?

    Speculation: Should you like to make a reservation with us...

    Adding the 'if' does not change the nature of the sentence. If you would like...is still inviting, and If you should like... is still speculating (but offering a possible solution).

    Or at least to me...
     
    panjandrum said:
    The first sentence seems natural to me, the second is strange.

    If your sentence did not include "same" it would be perfectly OK.
    The second sentence is better without same, but still very stilted.
    The second sentence is not stilted at all.
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    If you would like to is more natural and appropriate given the context as needed.

    Should, in similar contexts, implies doubt. It replaces "if."

    I use "should" in business correspondence in the following manner:

    Should you need additional information,...
    Should you require further assistance,...

    In other words, there is an implied doubt that "you" needs needs the information or help, but it is being offered anyway.
     

    RosaLimonade

    New Member
    French
    The Cambridge Dictionary settles the question: should like is the formal equivalent of would like.

    "would like

    or formal should like... used to say that you want or wish something
    I think I'd like the soup for my starter.
    I'd like to go to Moscow.
    I would like to say a big thankyou to everyone who's helped to make our wedding such a special occasion!"
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Should you like suggests a remoter chance that you might want to make a reservation, so I agree with Isotta about the difference.

    Should can be ambiguous since it "eats" would, but to me would is implied by should you like in this context because of "a reservation":

    Should you like to make reservations
    = Should it happen that you like to make reservations
    or = Should it happen that you would like to make reservations.

    Should you like to make a reservation
    = Should it happen that you would like to make a reservation.

    (Another example of implied would with like is "You can make reservations if you like", which does not mean if you like to make reservations but if you would like to make reservations. For some reason, not having a to after like causes the special meaning of would like to surface.)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This is complicated by the fact that in BE we don't usually use the conditional tense in if-clauses, when a condition is implied, though considerations of politeness seem to have allowed would like to be an exception to this rule.

    If + the conditional is often a sort of command-cum-invitation. If you would care to step this way is the kind of thing a polite policeman might say to mean Come here at once.

    Should you care to step this way, on the other hand, is very often a true condition: it means if you decide you want to step this way...

    There has been talk in the thread of the context in which these statements are said. No very specific context has been given, but let's imagine that I have booked a room in a hotel and I wonder if some friends, who I know are going to stay in the same town, would like to come to the same hotel.

    If you would like to make a reservation at the same place where we will be staying, ... - could be a suggestion-cum-invitation as a stand-alone, or it could be a genuine condition: If you'd like to do it, then here is the telephone number.

    Should you like to make a reservation at the same place where we will be staying, ... - is much less easily a stand-alone, and much more obviously a condition: Should you like to do it, then here is the telephone number. I don't find it at all stilted. It is rather formal.
     
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