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1. If I buy this tool, would I be able to do the valve clearance check myself? (Is this a conditional here? Or is 'would' here a modal for 'likely' ?)

2. If I buy this tool, will I be able to do the valve clearance check myself? (This sounds too positive with 'will' ?)

Scenario: A guy comes into my PC shop and asks me if I have any Mac products and I say:

3. No, sir. Most people would go to a Mac store if they need something. (Is 'would' here a modal for likely?)

4. No, sir. Most people would go to a Mac store if they needed something. (I know this is correct conditional but does it make sense when I use 'needed' ?)

Thanks.
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Hi,

1. If I buy this tool, would I be able to do the valve clearance check myself? 'Would' makes it sound unlikely or hypothetical that you will do the check. In such a case, you need to say 'bought' instead of 'buy'.

2. If I buy this tool, will I be able to do the valve clearance check myself? (This sounds too positive with 'will' ?) I don't know what you mean by 'too positive'. The sentence tells me it's quite possible that you will buy the tool and do the work.

Scenario: A guy comes into my PC shop and asks me if I have any Mac products and I say:

3. No, sir. Most people would go to a Mac store if they need something. It's like no. 2 above, with 'would', use 'needed'. Or else, use 'will' and 'go'.

4. No, sir. Most people would go to a Mac store if they needed something. (I know this is correct conditional but does it make sense when I use 'needed' ?) Yes, it makes sense.

Best wishes, Clive

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I think you could describe it as 'mixed', for what it's worth: type 1/type 2.

1. "If I buy this tool, would I be able to do the valve clearance myself?"

At one level it's strange, because you're combining the immediate with the remote (why else would you buy the tool, if not to do the valve clearance?). But it's pychologically sound, as it makes your faith in your own ability seem tentative. You are in effect deferring to the salesman's opinion. If you say:

2. "If I buy this tool, will I be able to do the valve clearance myself?"

you risk a disrespectful response ("well, I don't know, sir, have you done this kind of thing before?"), instead of a reassuring:

3. "Oh, I should think so, sir. It's really quite straightforward."

MrP
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Comments  
1. If I bought this tool, would I be able to do the valve clearance check myself? (Let's say I'm highly considering buying the tool but I'm not sure if I could do the valve clearance check myself, should I use a mixed conditional or the imgainary one or real conditonal? Why? )

Thanks.
Hi again, Jack,

Oh, now I see what you are asking about.

In a case like that, I don't see anything wrong at all with saying

If I buy this tool, would I be able to do the valve clearance check myself?

It conveys your meaning very clearly.

Clive
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Clive
Hi again, Jack,

Oh, now I see what you are asking about.

In a case like that, I don't see anything wrong at all with saying

If I buy this tool, would I be able to do the valve clearance check myself?

It conveys your meaning very clearly.

Clive

What should the salesman reply back with?

1. I think you would be able to do it no problem if you try.

2. I think you would be able to do it no problem if you tried.
In a case like that, I don't see anything wrong at all with saying

If I buy this tool, would I be able to do the valve clearance check myself?

3. If I buy this tool, would I be able to do the valve clearance check myself? (So what kind of conditional is this if it is one?)

Thanks.
 MrPedantic's reply was promoted to an answer.