What is the technical difference between

i) I would be thankful if you would...
ii)I would be thankful if you could...
iii)I would be thankful if you should...?

I would have thought i) is incorrect since the second "would" ought to be "were to", but are ii) and iii) both grammatically correct and what exactly is the difference in meaning between them? Finally, is it correct to replace the "would" in each example with a "should"?
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British rules differ from American rules.

I'll do American rules first, as they're easier...

"If you would" is perfectly okay. The difference between "If you would" and "If you were to" is that "If you would" is a polite request, whereas "If you were to" describes a situation which is either impossible, or expected not to happen. For example, compare "If you would make tea..." with "If you were to complete that Rubik's cube..." Also note that there is a difference between "If you make tea..." and "If you would make tea..." The former is a simple if/then statement about the consequences of tea-making; the latter is a polite request.

"If you could..." means "If you are capable of...", and so is not a request. If you said to me "I would be thankful if you could answer my questions", I could answer "Then be thankful, because I can". It's grammatically correct, but it doesn't mean what you want to say.

"If you should..." means nothing at all. It is nonsense. As a statement, "You should..." means "You really OUGHT to...", or "You have an obligation to...". As a question, "If you should" should really really mean "If you really ought to...", but that doesn't really make much sense.

And now for the British rules....

The British rules are the same as the American rules except in the first person. In the first person (I/me/we/us), the meanings of "would" and "should" are interchanged. Use "would" wherever Americans would use "should", and vice versa - but only in the first person.

In practice, British rules are not used very much these days, even in Britain. When occasionally you encounter them in use, it often serves to confuse rather than clarify.

there isn't really any noticable difference. You wouldn't use should in that statement.

"i would be thankful if you could..." means the same as "i would be thankful if it were possible for you to do..."

"i would be thankful if you would..." means more like "i would be thankful if you do.."

hope this helps
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Anonymousthere isn't really any noticable difference. You wouldn't use should in that statement.
You do realize, don't you, that you are answering a question that was asked almost six years ago, and that the person who asked the question is not likely to still be waiting for the answer? That's enough time to finish a university degree! Emotion: smile

In any case it is useful for other people that have the same question.
.. like me for instance Emotion: wink

I was very happy to find such a great answer. 
Also I  know that it is not recommended to add would/should/could after "if" (only if it is a mixed conditional sentence - which you can figure out from the context).


the first type of conditional: 
IF we hurry , we'll catch the train. (this is sure!) (in some cases you can use Present Tense)

the second  type of conditional:
 IF I had a million dollars, I would probably buy an expensive car.(only if I had..!)

the third type of conditional :
IF you had  rung me, I would have come to see you. (but you hadn't..!)

Mixed conditionals (type 2 and 3):
(3 with 2)- > If you had booked a taxi , we wouldn't be here now
(2 with 3)- > If he was more careful, he wouldn't have had the accident. (but that is how he is then and now).
* I used only "would" in order to notice the difference.

Also, should/could/would can be modal verbs. In this case things differ.

There are some situations when should/could/would is needed after "if" , so to make the sentences to sound more polite. 

If you would be so kind, please pass me the telephone. 


I hope this is useful. Emotion: embarrassed
Rommie, you are a genius!
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Even though you posted it 7 years back, it helped me today. Excellent explanation. I wish you want to be my English Tutor.
thank you.....it really cleared my confusion.
it is really helpfull for me......now my doubt is clearly clarified....thankyou dude
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