Conditional statement


"Should there be any inconvenience, [...]."

Is this way of writing a conditional statement wrong or correct?


Paola Salviato

See example:

Should there be any inconvenience, just contact me at the phone number reported below or via email, using this email address.
asked Feb 08 '13 at 13:27 Paola Salviato New member

2 answers


First of all, inconvenience does not precisely fit with a there+be-sentence.  It sounds better, from a customer-relations point of view, to insert the subject, i.e., the customer, into the sentence:  Should you have any inconvenience, and actually the plural countable noun problems is the best choice, Should you have any problems...


Should you have any problems basically means the same as If you have any problems but the nuance is a little different. When an employee or company representative, for example, says/writes to a current or prospective customer should you have any problems, the implication is that they expect that there won't be any problems (because the company is so amazing), which is a good image to present to a potential or current customer.  Thus, using should instead of if is both extra-polite and also creates an expectation in the customer's mind that there probably won't be any problems.


If instead you use if you have any problems, the statement loses both that extra-polite nuance and the expectation that problems will probably not occur.  It still sounds polite, but from a customer-service point of view, the should you have construction is the best option.


Finally, at the phone number reported below or via email, using this email address should be more simply reworded as by phone or email.  My contact details are provided below.


I hope this helps.    

link comment edited Feb 08 '13 at 14:31 Shawn Mooney Expert

Thank you, for your kind answer. I sent an email with the sentence I mentioned to acknowledge and confirm an appointment for a job interview actually. With this additional information, do you have any further comment or advice to give me?

Kind regards,

link comment answered Feb 08 '13 at 16:24 Paola Salviato New member

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