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If you will go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker.

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
I believe (a) would be used in formal (British?) English. But how about the others?
(a) If you will help me, I shall be much obliged.
(b) If you will go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker.
(c) If I'll go shopping tomorrow, will you come with me?
(d) If you will let me alone, I'll be happy.

In what case would "If ... will " pattern be used?
Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

Julie.chan

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I don't think you're asking the right question.

Conditional phrases like this take the form "If A then B" ("then" is often omitted). B is its own independent clause expressing the result that follows from A.

So the question you should be asking is, "What are the rules for the clause between 'if' and 'then'?" To that, I don't know the answer. I do think it varies by dialect and circumstance quite a bit, though.

In my American Midwestern dialect (specifically the Michigan vernacular), at the very least, using "will" that way doesn't fit. But I'm not so confident that that is the case for British dialects, for example. Without changing the clause following the "then", I would formulate these in the following way:
  • If you should help me, then I shall be much obliged. (But this would sound really antiquated.)
  • If you go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker.
  • If I go shopping tomorrow, will you come with me?
  • If you leave me alone, I'll be happy. ("Let me alone" is incorrect in American English, but that's definitely a dialectal thing. It's correct in British dialects.)
Just to clarify, I would modify the clause after the "then" as well in real speech and I would even reverse the order of the last two, but these are stylistic choices.
 

Hike.the.PCT

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はじめまして。

Here's how I understand
If you will go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker.
明日そこに行けば、トム・ベーカーと会えます。

And here's how I understand
"If you go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker." :
(もし)明日そこに行ったら、トム・ベーカーと会えます。

私見です。

この問題
 

Majestic

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The are all grammatically fine - that is to say I don't know that they break any accepted rules of grammar. But, as you suspected, they all seem slightly formal, and perhaps less common in US English because of this. (c) seems particularly unusual.

I think in American usage of English we would omit the "will" in all of those cases. Not because it the construction is incorrect, but because it feels superfluous.

There are cases where it feels more natural. You can hear it commonly in customer service situations (albeit more likely in the contracted version), like;
"If you'll follow me, I will show you to the doctor"
"If you'll sign here, I will get your items ready"
"If you'll wait while I take care of this person, I'll get to you once I'm finished"
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the help, roboTTo and Majestic.
Here's how I understand
If you will go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker.
明日そこに行けば、トム・ベーカーと会えます。

And here's how I understand
"If you go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker." :
(もし)明日そこに行ったら、トム・ベーカーと会えます。
Sorry, I don't get it. What's the difference? Do you think you can use
"If you will go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker"?

T
There are cases where it feels more natural. You can hear it commonly in customer service situations (albeit more likely in the contracted version), like;
"If you'll follow me, I will show you to the doctor"
"If you'll sign here, I will get your items ready"
"If you'll wait while I take care of this person, I'll get to you once I'm finished"
Thank you for the good examples of "If you'll + verb" pattern.
 

Julie.chan

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Sorry, I don't get it. What's the difference?
It's very, very subtle. Almost identical, but not quite. I guess the way I would explain it is that using "will" is more of a suggestion for the person you're talking to to do the thing, whereas without it the sentence is more neutral. Kind of like asking them to do it and telling them what the result is at the same time. It took me until after I initially posted this to think to formulate it that way, though.

If I were you, I would go for just avoiding use of "will", since it's generally speaking unnecessary and very uncommon in the U.S. at least.
 

Hike.the.PCT

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Thank you for the help, roboTTo and Majestic.


Sorry, I don't get it. What's the difference? Do you think you can use
"If you will go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker"?



Thank you for the good examples of "If you'll + verb" pattern.
Yes. You can use "will" in the first clause.
However, it sounds unnatural.

If you will go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker.
(That is grammatical, but it sounds unnatural.)

If you go there tomorrow, you can meet Tom Baker.
(This is grammatical, and it sounds natural.)
 
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