tenses agreement, and the usage of the second conditional: "Would it be okay if I didn't (don't) come to your show next week?"



Would it be okay if I didn't come to your show next week?

Would it be okay if I don't come to your show next week?

Now, as per the rule of the second conditional, if + Simple Past, + would + base verb, would the first not be more grammatically accurate than the second one, and it even follows the being in harmony of tenses?

Is there a difference in the meaning between the two?

lekon chekon

Posted 2015-12-10T09:10:40.017

Reputation: 2 741

1I attempted to answer, but I had a couple issues midway through, and I don't know how to resolve them except via "that's just how it is", so I'll see if anyone else comes up with a better answer. – modulusshift – 2015-12-10T09:37:27.800

2Interesting question! I've run a search in the COCA corpus, and there are 11 constructions of the type "Would it be ok if + Simple Past verb" and only one construction with a Simple Present verb: " Would it be OK if I check your tub for a second?" There are 9 constructions for "Would it be okay + Simple Past" and only one with Simple Present: "Would it be okay if I start?" – CowperKettle – 2015-12-10T09:39:20.810

should i delete this question,and post it again? Maybe that way you'll be able to answer my question without problems @modulusshift – lekon chekon – 2015-12-10T09:43:35.823

sure. ....... :) – lekon chekon – 2015-12-10T09:46:15.027

1I don't mean your question is wrong, I just mean that it's difficult enough that I don't want my instincts to lead you wrong, so I'll let the actual scholars here bring the big guns. – modulusshift – 2015-12-10T09:48:28.537

I wish there were sites that would allow me to have conversations with people who have an immaculate grasp over grammar without having to post questions.

Are you guys on facebook,or on any other social media where i could just talk out my doubts? If you feel unsure about it,i totally understand. :) – lekon chekon – 2015-12-10T09:53:15.317

Thanks. I'll check them out right away. :) I really appreciate the help. I've always been a grammar freak,and English isn't my native language ; it kills me not knowing how things work the way they do. – lekon chekon – 2015-12-10T10:00:40.817

Okay,i checked them out. Now,if i wanted to converse with certain people,how would i do that? – lekon chekon – 2015-12-10T10:04:09.303

Or do i just start a new room with random people? – lekon chekon – 2015-12-10T10:05:26.710

._. that's going to be hard. xD I was never really good at initiating conversations. xD Thanks,anyway. And would you be answering this question? (this is where my problems lie,I used Would in this sentence,but should i have used will?) – lekon chekon – 2015-12-10T10:16:25.157

I've found a questions very much like yours on ELU and posted a bounty for it. There are some interesting comments under that question.

– CowperKettle – 2015-12-10T10:20:28.223

Let us continue this discussion in chat.

– lekon chekon – 2015-12-10T10:22:14.003

Another related question: Is “would + present tense” bad grammar?

– CowperKettle – 2015-12-10T10:40:56.207

Is not the reason for posting questions so that other people can also learn from the answers? – Peter – 2015-12-10T12:02:39.317



It is an interesting question.
Both forms are acceptable and understandable:

Would it be okay, if I didn't come to your show next week?
Would it be okay, if I don't come to your show next week?

However, the first sounds better, to me, since it's seeking permission.
The answers to the questions are (expanded for clarity):

It's okay if you did not come.
It's okay if you do not come.

Whereas the second sounds better as the answer.

The interesting opposite would be:

It would be okay if you did come


It would be okay if you do come.


Posted 2015-12-10T09:10:40.017

Reputation: 63 575


Both the sentences are correct grammatically.

The first sentence is a conditional 2 sentence, whereas the second is not. You can use "would" in the main clause and if-clause in the present when you make a polite or indirect request.

Would you mind if I open a window? (Longman)


Posted 2015-12-10T09:10:40.017

Reputation: 26 261