Can “should” be used to mean “if” and used to mean “would” in the same sentence?

It’s grammatical to use “should” like “if”:

  • Should you need me, call.
  • I’ll be available should she ask for me.
  • Should my mother call, let her know I’ll be back shortly.

It’s also grammatical to use “should” for “would”:

  • If you call me, I should hope that I answer.
  • When I ask you a question, I should expect that you not lie to me.
  • Were you not to seize this opportunity, I should think you mad.

HOWEVER, is it grammatical to use both of these grammatical conventions at the same time? In a conditional sentence, can “should” be used in both the protasis and the apodosis?

Examples:

  • Should you desire to go, I should hope you do. (If you desire to go, I would hope you do.)

  • Should he come, I should like to meet him. (If he comes, I’d like to meet him.)

  • We should expect a call from you should there be any problem. (We would expect a call from you if there’s any problem.)

Answer

It’s perfectly possible to use two shoulds in the same conditional:

Should anyone phone asking when the drilling’s going to stop, I should imagine we’ll all be finished by 2 o’clock.

Of course, it’s not strictly accurate to think that the first should here is replacing if. Here’s the same sentence with if reinserted:

If anyone should phone asking when the drilling’s going to stop, I should imagine we’ll all be finished by 2 o’clock.

Here we can see both if and should together in the same protasis. The first sentence uses subject-auxiliary inversion to mark the conditional protasis. The if has been dropped and the Subject, anyone and the auxiliary verb should have changed places.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Benjamin Harman , Answer Author : Araucaria – Not here any more.

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