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General Writing and Grammar Help/If + subject + will + infinitive without 'to'

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Dear Ted:

When do you use the grammatical structure 'if + subject + will + base infinitive (infinitive without "to")? In other words, when do you use the future tense (the "will" form) in the "if" clause?

Would you please give me some examples?

Generally, doesn't a subordinate clause beginning with 'if' use the simple present, and the main clause use the future tense as in "If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I'll go to the beach"?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

When do you use the grammatical structure 'if + subject + will + base infinitive (infinitive without "to")? In other words, when do you use the future tense (the "will" form) in the "if" clause?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** I hope I understand this rather complex question.  EXAMPLE:  If you WILL COMPLETE all your assignments this term, you WILL pass the course.

If you WILL CONTINUE IGNORING the speed limit signs, you WILL end up with a speeding ticket.

Generally, doesn't a subordinate clause beginning with 'if' use the simple present, and the main clause use the future tense as in "If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I'll go to the beach"?

*** The answer to your question is YES.  That's why my examples using IF clauses and the future tense [will + verb] were difficult to write.  I don't care for either of my two examples, and I certainly would NOT use them myself.  The problem is using the future tense WILL in the subjunctive clause that begins with a hypothetical IF.

They present a "grammatical structure" that is very dubious and certainly awkward and unnatural.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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