| #3 (permalink) Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:23 am Provided that vs. Providing that
I'm not a native speaker (in fact, a Norwegian living in Paris), so don't take my reasoning for anything but speculation, but it seems to me that there is, or at least ought to be, a difference between the two.
The construct describes a precondition, and because the condition must be fulfilled prior to whatever depends on it, does it not make more sense to use the past tense?
"I'll buy the car, provided that my bank is willing to extend a loan."
Here, the bank's willingness to extend a loan necessarily precedes buying the car, and, to my mind at least, it therefore makes more sense to use the past tense.
There is another case that leaves me more ambigious:
"I'll cook, providing you do the dishes."
Of course, the dishwashing would take place after the cooking. However, to me, it seems this is really a rationalization of a PREcondition (after all, a postcondition makes no sense), namely
"I'll cook, provided you [promise to] do the dishes."
It's hardly a question of great importance, but I think it's interesting and would appreciate any comments.
Joined: 05 Mar 2009