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I've got following sentence in a visa application form:

You are not required to provide a medical certificate or Chest X-ray Certificate if you will be in New Zealand for less than six months.

I fully understand the meaning. But the sentence does not match the "rules" of conditional sentences, and this confuses me.

So, the questions are:

  • Is this a legitimate use?
  • Are there any grammatical rules in place?
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    Which "rules" would they be? It looks sound to me. Note that for your context you probably want to know if there are any rules in play. Mar 17 '16 at 21:42
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    Per the google, rules in place* is ten times more common than rules in play, with the latter counting the meaning of "rules in playing games."
    – deadrat
    Mar 17 '16 at 21:51
  • 'You are not required ...' stresses the immediacy of the requirement (or non-requirement, as here), whereas 'if you will be ...' references the fact that you are going to be staying in the country. Mar 17 '16 at 21:52
  • @FumbleFingers I'm talking about these rules: bfy.tw/4oGG. And deadrat is right: I meant what I asked.
    – hazzik
    Mar 17 '16 at 22:00
  • If by "rules", you mean those charts assigning ordinal numbers to the types of conditionals, present->future is labeled type 1, and you've got future->present. These charts cover conditionals for real situations and those contrary to fact. Your case is more propositional, kind of like a theorem. It's fine.
    – deadrat
    Mar 17 '16 at 22:04
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Found the answer to a question in the same article on Wikipedia (which I've added after some more googling):

However there are certain situations where will can appear in a condition clause. One type of situation is referred to above under zero conditional, where will expresses futurity, but the sentence as a whole expresses factual implication rather than a potential future circumstance: "If aspirins will cure it, I'll take a couple tonight" (the taking is not a consequence of the curing, but a consequence of the expectation that they will cure).

More commonly, will appears in condition clauses where it has a modal meaning, rather than marking the future. Relevant meanings include willingness, persistence, or strong disapproval.

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  • I have to upvote you for taking the time to answer your own question. We need more people like you on EL&U! Mar 17 '16 at 23:06
  • I'd say Wikipedia's 'If you are going to sit an exam tomorrow, [you need to] go to bed early tonight' is a closer match. 'If you are going to sit an exam' really expresses the expectation rather than the (guaranteeable) actuality, as one cannot foresee all eventualities; a more felicitous (though less usual) wording would be 'If you plan to sit an exam'. Mar 17 '16 at 23:51
  • Nice find. Upvote. This captures what I meant by propositional. You've got a statement of logical fact, with no modal considerations of possibility. You find this in math, but in the indicative present tense: If a triangle is equilateral, then it is also equiangular. Notice you don't say "If a triangle were equilateral" the way you would with "If I were a triangle, I'd be equilateral."
    – deadrat
    Mar 17 '16 at 23:52
  • @JohnClifford A brief look at hazzik's profile leads me to believe that he hasn't been harassed enough. What does the CPVPV say?
    – deadrat
    Mar 17 '16 at 23:54
  • @deadrat The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice? Mar 17 '16 at 23:58

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