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I am talking about events taking place in the known future:

Would it be okay if I'll confirm around 3 pm?

or should it be

Would it be okay if I'd confirm around 3 pm?

What is the difference and which one is correct? Why?

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I think it would sound okay: Would it be okay if I confirmed around 3 pm? –  user83461 Jul 9 at 0:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Both Al and Mike are correct; you should use one of these forms:

a Would it be OK if I confirmed around 3pm?

b Will it be OK if I confirm around 3pm?

Use (a) if you're in a situation where you're seeking the person's permission: that is, you need permission to either be able to confirm later, or permission to confirm later at the time you mention. With the (a) form, you're seeking the other person's input or approval, and their decision might completely alter your plans.

Use (b) if it's already established that the plans are agreed, and now you're working out logistics. You're already agreed to do whatever it is, and you've agreed that you can cofirm later, but now you're seeking to find out what the best time is for confirmation.

This is a subtle, idiomatic distinction more than one of syntax.

From a syntactic point of view, I believe, 'would' is a modal auxiliary verb, indicating possibility not certainty; whereas the auxiliary verb 'will' conveys definite intent of action.

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Following the change to confirmed in the first alternative, I agree completely. I've deleted my answer on the grounds that it's now superfluous. –  FumbleFingers May 11 '11 at 21:57
    
...actually it seems I don't have enough rep to delete my own answer. Anyone else reading this please feel free to add weight to my suicidal tendencies. –  FumbleFingers May 11 '11 at 21:59

I think both are incorrect. This is better, I think:

Would it be okay if I confirm around 3 pm?

Possibly this:

Would it be okay if I confirmed around 3 pm?

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Say the first sentence to yourself without the I'll

Would it be okay if I will confirm around 3 pm?

I think it's obvious that that is incorrect.

Similar issue with the second example.

Would it be okay if I would confirm around 3 pm?

Sounds better, but still not very good.

I think a better way to go is

Would it be okay if I confirmed around 3 pm?

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protected by tchrist Jul 9 at 0:54

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