If you will have dinner at home, tell me.


If you have dinner at home, tell me.

What is the difference between the two sentences? Which one sounds natural?

2 Answers 2


If you will have dinner at home, tell me.

Here "will" is used with the (slightly archaic) meaning of "wish/intend to", so the sentence is correct, but modern English speakers would generally use "wish/want/intend to" instead, or "would like to".

If you have dinner at home, tell me.

This is a simple sentence that requests you to tell the speaker if you actually have dinner at home, so it is also grammatically correct but conveys a totally different meaning.

  • And "have dinner" can be ambiguous in some contexts, where it could mean "have food for dinner"...
    – user21820
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 4:25

I think the second one is correct.

If you have dinner at home, tell.

Although this Source states:

When the situation or action depicted in the if-clause is a result of the main clause, the will-future is used in the if-clause.

He'll pay me $10 if I'll help him do the dishes. (Doing the dishes is the result of paying ten dollars.)

So in any other case, you would not have will/would in an if clause.

In your case, telling him is not the result of having dinner at home, but of planning to have dinner at home.

I hope this explains it correctly.

  • Could please someone share with me why my answer is downvoted?
    – jera
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 12:31

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