Are all of these grammatically correct and equivalent?

Even if I fail

Even should I fail

Even if I should fail

What are the differences, if any? Could the last example be misinterpreted to mean that failing is a desirable outcome?


All three are grammatically correct, and have the same meaning. However, they are not grammatically equivalent: the first is set in the future real (or "factual") conditional tense, while the second and third are set in the future unreal (or "counterfactual") conditional.

Conditional tutorial - Future conditionals

Wikipedia on conditional sentences


All of them are grammatically correct and mean the same thing. The last example means "even if I did actually fail"

  • All of them are grammatically correct, and essentially equivalent. The ones with should are rather more old-fashioned, though, and would be less natural today unless you wand to sound deliberately old-fashioned. – PLL May 21 '11 at 13:09

Every time you look at different phrases I find ngrams really useful

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(unfortunately you can't really choose which corpus is searched, but you can see in which books and publications the results were found).

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