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I have been thinking about how to phrase this and it is getting me confused. I am trying to suggest that an item can be a great tool for a project. I'm using the idiom "Should you find" but I don't know what tense of the verb to use afterwards. Could you tell me which of these 4 options is/are correct (or maybe none)?

Should you find this item suiting your project

Should you find this item suit your project (infinitive)

Should you find this item suits your project

Should you find that this item suits your project

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    The relativizer "that" is completely optional and it makes absolutely no difference whether you include it or not. We don't have any context here (just part of a sentence), but offhand I can't easily think of a context where the continuous verb form (suiting) would be preferred. And personally, I think whatever the full context, it would be better to use if rather than should like nearly everyone else. Oct 8, 2023 at 17:01
  • Following the edit, your first version is non-idiomatic, the second is ungrammatical, and the other two are both equally acceptable (and equivalent). Oct 8, 2023 at 17:04
  • FF. I don't understand why you talk of the relativiser "that". There's no relative clause present.
    – BillJ
    Oct 8, 2023 at 17:10
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    It's apparently an attempt to sound like a bespoke tailor. That explains the should, which falutes higher than if. If you're determined to use find without a complementizer to mark the clause (including one is a good idea), you can't use a gerund, so (1) is out. The infinitive is OK, but needs a to. The last two are fine. Everything is governed by the matrix verb (find), and the presence or absence of a raised subject (in this case this item). Oct 8, 2023 at 17:10
  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on English Language & Usage Meta, or in English Language & Usage Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – tchrist
    Oct 8, 2023 at 17:31

2 Answers 2

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Fumblefingers answered in a comment:

The relativizer "that" is completely optional and it makes absolutely no difference whether you include it or not. We don't have any context here (just part of a sentence), but offhand I can't easily think of a context where the continuous verb form (suiting) would be preferred. And personally, I think whatever the full context, it would be better to use if rather than should like nearly everyone else.

And also:

Following the edit, your first version is non-idiomatic, the second is ungrammatical, and the other two are both equally acceptable (and equivalent).

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John Lawler answered in a comment:

It's apparently an attempt to sound like a bespoke tailor. That explains the should, which falutes higher than if. If you're determined to use find without a complementizer to mark the clause (including one is a good idea), you can't use a gerund, so (1) is out. The infinitive is OK, but needs a to. The last two are fine. Everything is governed by the matrix verb (find), and the presence or absence of a raised subject (in this case this item).

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