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Question Posted Wednesday July 22 2009, 12:18 pm

what does the phrase "if you will" mean? i think its a useless add-on to the ends of sentences

[ Answer this question ]

Additional info, added Wednesday July 22 2009, 3:48 pm:
I mean like this:

Idiom Definitions for 'If you will'
'If you will' is used as a way of making a concession in a sentence: He wasn't a very honest person, a liar if you will. Here, it is used a way of accepting that the reader or listener might think of the person as a liar, but without commit the writer or speaker to that position fully.

if someone could better explain that^
.

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Razhie answered Wednesday July 22 2009, 3:00 pm:
Being polite is never useless.

When you learn french, 'Please' is translated to 'S'il vous plait', but 'S'il vous plait' actually literally translates too 'If it pleases you.'

That is where we get the word 'Please' from, because when you think about, please is kind of a stupid word when use it at the end of a request as well! Technically, 'to please' is to give pleasure. What we are implying when we say 'Please pass the potatoes' is actually, "If it gives you pleasure, pass the potatoes."

English is a weird language though, and we value economy in our everyday words, so we shortened it up to just 'Please.'

'If you will' comes in a similar way. It's tagged onto a thought or sentence as a way of softening a request that was not phrased as a question. When someones says 'Open the windows, if you will.' what they are saying is “Open the windows if you would like too/if it would please you/if you would will it done.” They are just getting it out with less words.

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