Hi everyone,

Is it possible to say:

‘Could you please deliver the pizzas to my house, if it is possible?’.

‘I would like you to come over here, if it were possible?’.


The first is possible I suppose, but “… if possible” or “if that’s possible” seem more likely to me. If you did use this form then “it is” would almost always be contracted to “it’s” in conversational English.

The second does not read smoothly to me, and the chatty nature of “come over here” and the formal nature of “if it were possible” seem to clash. It seems like an abstract statement about a hypothetical situation, rather than a question or request. It does not need a question mark.


Just to add - accepting that ‘if it were’ sounds very formal in an informal context, you could make a play on this and add as it were a begging tone and say: if it were at all possible.


Hi Alexandro,

As a third alternative. if you want a more informal tone than ‘if it were possible’ but don’t wish to ‘make a play’ of the remark, then this should fit the bill:
I would like you to come over here, if possible.
It’s the same form as Dozy suggests for your first sentence.

Thanks Dozy, Alan and Beeesneees. But is there anything wrong with being formal? I mean, during English classes I was always told and taught to be formal. It seems that the English like to speak to each other in a less formal way, i.e. a modern way, without being uncivil towards each other, ofcourse. Am I correct thinking that? Is it also true that people who speak cockney English, which I absolutely adore hearing, do not wish to speak to people who speak very formally and vice versa? Might it have anything to do with the fact that these days I’m watching ‘Dynasty’ with my grandmother and the character ‘Alexis’ is played by Joannie Collins, who speaks English as if she comes from the ‘upper class’. Mind you I hate the words ‘upper, middle and lower classes.’ We’re all the same!


There is nothing wrong with formal language in its place. However, for me, your second sentence doesn’t work in any register (except perhaps, unusually, as observation about a hypothetical situation). For me, the two parts, “I would like you to come over here” and “if it were possible”, just do not go together to form a natural request (which is how I believe you intended it).

Thanks Dozy