0

if you'll continue acting like...

I understand "if you continue to act like..." seems more logical, but is there a fault in the first sentence? I am focusing on the "act" part. Can it be a continuous? what type of a sentence would it be in terms of verb/tense/...

5
  • 2
    No, we never use will like that for that meaning. It can be used in other contexts like this: "If you will just pick up your stuff, etc."
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 17:26
  • What @Lambie said. Normally, we only use If you will [do something] to mean if you are willing (and even then we're probably likely to use the more "oblique, distanced, deferential" form If you would [follow me, please]). Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 18:28
  • Welcome! I'm afraid proofreading requests ("is-there-something-wrong-here") are not on-topic here. I think you do in fact have a specific concern, but can you edit your question to explain more about it? You've gotten some helpful comments and an answer, but they all make certain assumptions about the underlying meaning that I'd like to see confirmed. Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 19:13
  • 2
    As long as acting like this is something the speaker wants you to do, then it makes perfect sense, with the correct next clause. If you'll continue acting like this, they won't pay me any attention and I can slip out with the loot. Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 21:55
  • I can imagine a parent/babysitter saying this: If you will continue acting like this, I'll have to tell your father. But that would require emphasis on the first will, and therefore it wouldn't be contracted.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 14:16

2 Answers 2

1

John Lawler got it correct in the comments: if you'll continue acting like ... is a request.

Quoting his comment:

As long as acting like this is something the speaker wants you to do, then it makes perfect sense, with the correct next clause. If you'll continue acting like this, they won't pay me any attention and I can slip out with the loot.

0

Standard in spoken US English is any of the following (note the tense in the main clause; it's in increasing order of formality):

If you continue acting like this, I'm taking away your TV privileges.

If you continue acting like this, I'm going to take away the keys to the car.

If you continue acting like this, I'm going to take away the keys to the car.

However, @lambie's comment above is on point. To elaborate: It's pretty common and semi-standard to make a pointed request like,

If you will [kindly] send me the document you promised, I'll be happy to take a look at it.

This formulation implies my moderate annoyance at your failure to send me the document!

At least to me as an American listener, including the first will makes it sound like a pointed request whether or not you include the kindly, so mild annoyance is the only context where I'd recommend using it.

4
  • 1
    Aside: Kindly seems to be used more literally in some other variants of English. (I have Indian or South Asian English in mind here; see also english.stackexchange.com/questions/14478/… .) Sometimes I receive emails from colleagues asking me to "kindly" do something. In US English this sounds a bit brusque and peeved, but I'm pretty sure that's not how it's intended. So be cautious! Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 17:49
  • 4
    Are examples 2 and 3 supposed to be different? And is the introduction of kindly part of the OP? Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 18:36
  • 1
    *If you continue acting like this, you’ll have an Oscar in no time.”. *If you continue acting, I’ll support your move to New York.”
    – Xanne
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 19:35
  • Yosef: Sorry, I forget what I intended as the third. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 20:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.