Sequence of Tenses


Could you please help me with verb tenses in the following sentence:


If this (or it?) doesn't help, will you be able to come with me, we'll try to solve this problem together.



asked Mar 01 '11 at 11:14 xen New member

1 answer


As far as I can see, the main problem with this sentences is structure, not verb tense.


For starters, you've got a comma splice in there (...with me, we'll try...). That should be split into two separate sentences with a period or divided with a semi-colon:


"...with me. We'll try..."

"...with me; we'll try..."


Secondly, writing "will you" makes the first part of the sentences into a question. Unless you mean to ask if the person is actually able or willing to come with you, what you want is the statement form, "you will." In that case, that sentence becomes an order/suggestion, which means you should drop the "will" entirely:


"If this doesn't help, come with me."


Finally, I think "with" is not the correct word to use there-- "to" or "see" work better.


"...come with me": you want this person to physically go somewhere with you; the implication is that you will be moving together.

"...come to me": better, but a touch awkward; the implication is that you will be waiting somewhere and the person should come find you (for instruction/help).

"...come see me": the figurative (not literal) meaning is that the person should come find you so that you and s/he can talk about the problem.



"If this doesn't help, come see me; we'll try to solve this problem together."

"If this doesn't help, come see me. We'll try to solve this problem together."


I personally like the first one better, but they're both correct.

link answered Mar 02 '11 at 00:57 Collane Ramsey Expert

Thank you very much, Collane! xenMar 02 '11 at 13:42

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