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?
  • 2
    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. – FumbleFingers Mar 17 '16 at 21:42
  • 1
    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. – Edwin Ashworth 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

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! – John Clifford 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'. – Edwin Ashworth 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? – John Clifford Mar 17 '16 at 23:58

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