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Words and Phrases to Use Instead of “IF”

Hi dear English learners. I assume that you’re visiting this post because you’re writing something and you’re interested in learning some new linking words and phrases. Well, don’t we all like to have our essays and emails beautifully written! What better way to make them really appealing but introduce a variety of words, expressions and phrases which are not only engaging but also make your writing more skilled and competent.

In that sense, let’s look at 13 alternatives to the conjunction “if”.

  • Whether 
  • Whether or not
  • Unless
  • In case
  • As long as
  • Even if
  • Only if 
  • Otherwise
  • Assuming (that)
  • Provided that
  • Suppose / supposing that
  • On condition (that)
  • In the event of / that

Words and Phrases to Use Instead of “IF”

Firstly, let’s say that if is normally used to say that something will happen on the condition that something else happens. 

  • If the weather is nice, we’ll go camping.
  • Tell my wife I won’t be home for lunch if she calls.
  • If I had known you were in a hospital, I would have visited you.

Whether 

This conjunction is similar to if and it is used to introduce an indirect question, to express doubt, etc.

  • Sarah wasn’t sure whether she wanted to move abroad.
  • Look at this application form! It’s not quite clear whether to put a tick or cross.
  • This study aimed at determining whether children with iron deficiency anaemia would respond to supplementation.

Whether or not

This is a phrase we normally use to say that it does not matter if something will happen or if it is true.

  • I’ve made up my mind! I’m buying a new car, whether you like it or not.
  • In the past, a girl had to marry a man their parents chose for her, whether she liked it or not.
  • When you buy a house you will likely be thinking about whether or not you made the right decision even several years later.

Words and Phrases to Use Instead of “IF”

Unless

The conjunction unless means in case that something does not happen. Practically, its meaning is opposite to if. 

  • Sarah never buys meat unless it is cruelty-free.
  • Try to avoid eating late at night, and never take sleeping pills unless prescribed by the doctor.
  • Unless stated differently, you can assume that smoking is not allowed on the premises.

In case

Use the phrase to say that someone has to deal with something possible to happen.

  • We took some sandwiches with us in case we arrive late.
  • It is always a good idea to keep an emergency kit at sight, in case of emergency.
  • You’d better take an umbrella in case it rains.

As long as

The phrase means only if something else happens.

  • I quite like having people about, as long as I don’t have to prepare meals for them.
  • It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. (Confucius)
  • As long as they meet certain conditions, students can also apply for a loan.

Words and Phrases to Use Instead of “IF”

Even if

Use even if to emphasize that something will still exist/be true if something else happens.

  • Even if things worked out between them, they would still divorce.
  • The bottom line is, even if you work out every day, you won’t lose weight unless you include a proper diet.
  • At this job, you have to pretend that you know what you do, even if you don’t.

Only if 

Don’t mistake only if with if only. Use it to express a condition.

  • We’re going hiking on Saturday only if it doesn’t rain.
  • These pills are effective only if you take them every day.
  • You are entitled to embed the link onto your website only if you meet the following criteria.

Otherwise

Use otherwise to say that something bad will happen if someone doesn’t do something / if something doesn’t happen.

  • You’d better eat something, otherwise, you may get hungry during the exam.
  • The best thing to do is to tell him about the accident, otherwise, he might get angry.
  • You’d better do it right away; otherwise, you’ll never do it.

Words and Phrases to Use Instead of “IF”

Assuming (that)

Use this phrase to say what you will do if something happens / if it is true.

  • Assuming that you get this job in a foreign country,  what are you going to do with your pets?
  • Many websites exclude scheduled downtime from availability calculations, assuming that it has little or no impact on the user community.
  • Eventually, she will have to hire someone to help with the housework, assuming they had things in common.

Provided that

This conjunction means if something else happens / is true. 

  • You may join us for lunch provided that you take us for coffee and ice cream afterwards.
  • Use of the bridge by bicycle riders is allowed, provided that they use the bicycle path.
  • The competition may serve as a form of recreation or a challenge provided that it is non-hostile.

Words and Phrases to Use Instead of “IF”

Suppose / supposing that

Use it to talk about a condition or situation and its possible outcome.

  • Suppose you don’t treat your toothache, what do you think it will be like in two days? Will it go away?
  • If you were given the right introduction to jazz, suppose that you actually liked it.
  • Even supposing that there isn’t blood connection between us, we could be good friends, don’t you think?

On condition (that)

Use on condition (that) to agree to do something on condition that somebody else do something else first.

  • I believe that a change of decoration is alright, on condition that the colours on the walls match the furniture.
  • We agree to help you with the project on the condition that you stop wasting your time and start working on it.
  • We don’t mind you wearing all those earrings and tattoos on condition that you don’t use drugs.

Words and Phrases to Use Instead of “IF”

In the event of / that

Use this expression if something happens.

  • In the event of a fire, you are advised to use this exit out of the building.
  • In the event that you spend all your money before your excursion is over, don’t hesitate to call us to send you some more.
  • The roof of the cabin has been engineered to provide protection against head injuries in the event of a collision.
Words and Phrases to use instead of "IF"
Words and Phrases to use instead of “IF”
Words and Phrases to Use Instead of "IF"
Words and Phrases to Use Instead of “IF”

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4 Comments

Guerram Tahar · 16 Feb 2022 at 7:14 am

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umeta Abose · 30 Mar 2022 at 2:04 pm

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