|Using the conditional|
from the Ukraine asks:
Could you please tell me the rule for using should in questions like this: 'Should you have any problems, feel free to contact me.' What does it mean? And how does it differ from: 'If you have any questions, please contact me?'
two sentences are very similar in meaning. But 'Should you have...'
or 'If you should have...' may be used in preference to 'If you have...'
if we want to suggest a slight possibility of something happening
or when we are making suggestions or giving advice. Compare:
Note that for a condition that is generally true, as in all the examples above, we use if plus the present simple in the subordinate clause and the present simple again in the main clause:
If + PRESENT SIMPLE , PRESENT SIMPLE
Look at these examples:
This is distinct from the will condition when we are predicting a likely result in the future and thinking about specific instances. With this type of condition, we have if plus the present simple in the subordinate clause and will/won't, or sometimes going to, in the main clause:
If + PRESENT SIMPLE, will/won't/going to FUTURE REFERENCE
at these examples:'
Note also that except for the above usage of should, we do not normally use would or should (or shall or will, see above) with if in the subordinate clause. For the would condition, when we are talking about something unreal or unlikely in the present or future, we normally use if plus the past simple in subordinate clause and would / should / 'd in the main clause:
If + PAST SIMPLE , would / should/ 'd PRESENT/FUTURE
at these examples:
|(For further uses of should and would, see 'When to use will, shall, would, should')|