1
   

if you prefer vs if you'd prefer

 
 
Reply Wed 8 Mar, 2017 06:09 pm
1. I can do that for you if you'd prefer.
2. I can do that for you if you prefer.
3. I can do that for you if you'll prefer.

Are these all acceptable? If so, which sounds best and most natural to you?
 
layman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Mar, 2017 06:37 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

1. I can do that for you if you'd prefer.
2. I can do that for you if you prefer.
3. I can do that for you if you'll prefer.

Are these all acceptable? If so, which sounds best and most natural to you?
I don't think 3 is right.
2 is common, and is fine, conversationally, but perhaps not technically correct.
3 Is correct, to me. Since it's a hypothetical, the "would" is appropriate.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 8 Mar, 2017 06:44 pm
@perennialloner,
Peren they do have very slightly diff meanings. For instance (3) implies that he mightn't yet have a preference
layman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Mar, 2017 07:06 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

Peren they do have very slightly diff meanings. For instance (3) implies that he mightn't yet have a preference


Right, Dale. I guess you could say 3 is right if you intend to convey the future tense. But I don't think that's the meaning he was trying to convey.
oristarA
 
  4  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2017 12:44 am
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

Peren they do have very slightly diff meanings. For instance (3) implies that he mightn't yet have a preference


The word "diff" would mean differential etc.. Use Standard English if you want to be an English teacher (or simply offer your suggestions on English) here, Dale.
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2017 07:56 am
@layman,
I understand the implication of saying you'll prefer, but it doesn't seem to be often used in English based on your response?

Also, I'm a little unclear on why adding would is more correct. It's conditional because of the if, right? But there are so many situations where English speakers neither follow if statements with "would" nor "were to" even in academic writing, especially in regard to directions. Or maybe there's something about the nature of a verb like prefer, or like, and the way it's used that differentiates it from a verb like choose.

If you choose me, I'll make your dreams come true.

If you'd choose me, I'd make your dreams come true.

Or alternatively, if you chose me, I'd make your dreams come true.

If you'll choose me, I'll make your dreams come true.

Is the second sentence most correct here too? If not, what makes the earlier sentence different for it to require a would. Thank you.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2017 08:08 am
@perennialloner,
Well, I make no pretense to being any kinda competent grammarian. You have a good point.

But talking in a hypothetical manner often requires a different usage.

For example, you don't (well, you do, but you're not supposed to) say "If I was president I would....." but rather "If I were president, I would...."
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2017 11:06 am
@oristarA,
Quote:
Standard English
Alas Ori thanks for your concern
0 Replies
 
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2017 09:19 am
@layman,
Sure, but I'm not sure if we're speaking in a hypothetical manner or just a conditional in respect to the sentences I began with.

I can do that for you, if you (would) prefer.

In this sentence, I have questions about the "would" because it's odd to me to use it after "can". The can should be "could", shouldn't it?

I could do that for you, if you would prefer.
OR
If you would prefer, I could do that for you.

Whereas "will" makes more sense to me in relation to the preceding can.

I can do that for you, if you will prefer.
OR
If you will prefer, I can do that for you.

It does sound odd, which leaves me thinking: "if you prefer, I can do that for you" is the best sounding option, unless the function of "would" here is not actually as a marker of a conditional statement but rather to soften/make more polite the statement as has been said on other places I have checked on the interwebs. If that is true, however, that wouldn't make it grammatical, just formal.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2017 09:44 am
@perennialloner,
Quote:
In this sentence, I have questions about the "would" because it's odd to me to use it after "can". The can should be "could", shouldn't it?

I could do that for you, if you would prefer.
OR
If you would prefer, I could do that for you


Well, yeah, nothing about a sentence, other than the wording itself, tells you what tense you're speaking in--past, present, or future.

So the wording you choose would just need to be consistent with the meaning you're trying to convey. It will vary accordingly, doncha think?
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2017 11:53 pm
@layman,
Quote:
For example, you don't (well, you do, but you're not supposed to) say "If I was president I would....." but rather "If I were president, I would...."


Pure crapola, layman.
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2017 11:56 pm
@perennialloner,
Quote:
1. I can do that for you if you'd prefer.
2. I can do that for you if you prefer.
3. I can do that for you if you'll prefer.

Are these all acceptable? If so, which sounds best and most natural to you?


Number 3 is, if it is at all possible, and I doubt that very much, is very strange.

Now I'll go to your later post, where you discuss the modal verbs more.
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2017 11:57 pm
@layman,
Quote:
Right, Dale. I guess you could say 3 is right if you intend to convey the future tense.


English does not have a future tense.
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Tue 11 Apr, 2017 12:14 am
@perennialloner,
Quote:
I understand the implication of saying you'll prefer, but it doesn't seem to be often used in English based on your response?


That is very true!

Quote:
Also, I'm a little unclear on why adding would is more correct. It's conditional because of the if, right? But there are so many situations where English speakers neither follow if statements with "would" nor "were to" even in academic writing, especially in regard to directions. Or maybe there's something about the nature of a verb like prefer, or like, and the way it's used that differentiates it from a verb like choose.


Conditionals are NOT always counterfactuals. Language has to cover all possible situations so conditionals run the gamut from "When x blah blah blah to the absolute counterfactual - If I lived on Neptune, ... .

Quote:
If you choose me, I'll make your dreams come true.

If you'd choose me, I'd make your dreams come true.

Or alternatively, if you chose me, I'd make your dreams come true.

If you'll choose me, I'll make your dreams come true.

Is the second sentence most correct here too? If not, what makes the earlier sentence different for it to require a would. Thank you.


Yes, the 2nd sentence is fine. What does "most correct" mean?

Reality, ie. all real life situations need to be described so the language used/chosen is reflected by where the speaker feels the situation sits on this REALITY TO IMPOSSIBLE/COUNTERFACTUAL scale I have made below.

Reality++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Counterfactual
When/If + [present tense] --------------------------------If + [ past tense form]

Examples of totally counterfactual situations [right side]:

If I was/were you, I would/could/may/might/should/...

If I lived in the Himalayas, I ...
===========

Examples of totally real situations [left side and moving towards the middle]:

When/If you see a red traffic light, you must/have to/should/... stop

When the doctor takes your blood sample, ...
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Apr, 2017 06:12 am
@camlok,
Thank you. This was helpful.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Apr, 2017 09:15 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

1. I can do that for you if you'd prefer.
2. I can do that for you if you prefer.
3. I can do that for you if you'll prefer.

Are these all acceptable? If so, which sounds best and most natural to you?

1 and 3 - Asking for clarification presuposing a definite time dimension as condition.
2- Answering, assuming preference. Rethorical.

Anyway "if you will" is the most logical form when you get an "if" there.
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Apr, 2017 09:21 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
Anyway "if you will" is the most logical form.


Not logical at all, in the sense that it isn't used. I suspect that 'prefer' puts the choice firmly in the hands of the other party, so if we are allowing their preference, we do so with the most indirect/polite language, which are the more conditional modal verbs; 'will' is not one of those.
0 Replies
 
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Apr, 2017 09:22 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
It's the most logical, yes, but it sounds off to native speakers.

I don't see how 2 assumes preference more than 1, unless by nature of it being less polite.
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Apr, 2017 09:30 am
@perennialloner,
Quote:
1. I can do that for you if you'd prefer.
2. I can do that for you if you prefer.


It's the most logical, yes, but it sounds off to native speakers.

I don't see how 2 assumes preference more than 1, unless by nature of it being less polite.


I am missing why you two gentlemen/ladies/folks think it is the most logical.

I don't know that 2 is any less polite. It is acknowledging that a person's preference exists, it is part of their being. The present simple speaks to and acknowledges people's habits/routine/preferences - one lives somewhere; one eats ...; one likes ...; one loves certain things; ... .

Acknowledging one's preferences may well be stating that we realize/know that these are inherent to that person.
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Apr, 2017 09:37 am
@camlok,
It is more polite according to a lot of websites.

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/i-can-connect-you-if-you-like-if-youd-like-phone-etiquette.2753845/

Quote:
I think "if you'd like" is marginally more polite than "if you like". However, assuming this is the operator speaking, I'd say "I can try her voicemail..." because at this point the operator doesn't know whether he/she actually can connect the call successfully.


To me "if you'll prefer" seems most logical because the "that" in "I can do that for you" hasn't happened yet so it's something that the person in question will or will not prefer in the future as opposed to right now.
 

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