if


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

IF

abbr.
intermediate frequency

if

 (ĭf)
conj.
1.
a. In the event that: If I were to go, I would be late.
b. Granting that: If that is true, what should we do?
c. On the condition that: She will play the piano only if she is paid.
2. Although possibly; even though: It is a handsome if useless trinket.
3. Whether: Ask if he plans to come to the meeting.
4. Used to introduce an exclamatory clause, indicating a wish: If they had only come earlier!
n.
A possibility, condition, or stipulation: There will be no ifs, ands, or buts in this matter.

[Middle English, from Old English gif; see i- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: In informal writing both if and whether are standard in their use to introduce a clause indicating uncertainty after a verb such as ask, doubt, know, learn, or see: We shall soon learn whether (or if) it is true. In such contexts, however, the use of if can sometimes create ambiguities. Depending on the intended meaning, the sentence Let her know if she is invited might be better paraphrased as Let her know whether she is invited or If she is invited, let her know. · In conditional sentences the clause introduced by if may contain either a past subjunctive verb (if I were going) or an indicative verb (if I am going; if I was going), depending on the intended meaning. According to the traditional rule, the subjunctive should be used to describe an occurrence that is presupposed to be contrary to fact, as in if I were ten years younger or if Napoleon had won at Waterloo. The main verb of such a sentence must then contain the modal verb would or (less frequently) should: If America were still a British colony, we would have an anthem that human voices could sing. If I were the president, I should (or would) declare November 1 a national holiday. When the situation described by the if clause is not presupposed to be false, however, that clause must contain an indicative verb, and the choice of verb in the main clause will depend on the intended meaning: If Hamlet was really written by Marlowe, as many have argued, then we have underestimated Marlowe's genius. If Kevin was out all day, then it makes sense that he couldn't answer the phone. Note also that the presence of the modal verb would in the main clause should not be taken as a sign that the verb in the if clause must be in the subjunctive, if the content of that clause is not presupposed to be false: If there is anything I can do to help, I should be happy to do so. He would always call her from the office if he was (not were) going to be late for dinner. · Again according to the traditional rule, the subjunctive is not correctly used following verbs such as ask or wonder in if clauses that express indirect questions, even if the content of the question is presumed to be contrary to fact: We wondered if dinner was (not were) included in the room price. Some of the people we met even asked us if California was (not were) an island. · With all deference to the traditional rules governing the use of the subjunctive, it should be noted that a survey of the prose of reputable writers over the past 200 years would reveal a persistent tendency to use the indicative was where the traditional rule would require the subjunctive were. A sentence beginning If I was the only boy in the world, while not strictly correct, is wholly unremarkable. But the corresponding practice of using the subjunctive in place of the indicative may be labeled a hypercorrection. · In spoken English there is a growing tendency to use would have in place of the subjunctive in contrary-to-fact clauses, as in If she would have only listened to me, this would have never happened. But in our 1995 survey, only 14 percent of the Usage Panel accepted this sentence. · When used as a coordinator, the phrase if not always signals a contrast, but it can have almost contradictory meanings, depending on the context. Sometimes it can mean "but not," as in She won her team's admiration, if not its award, for her performance in the playoffs and The board was encouraged, if not convinced, by the budgetary projections. At other times, especially when there is a comparison of two adjectives or noun phrases in which the second represents a significant increase in degree above the first, if not usually means "and even," as in This job will be difficult, if not impossible and The law practice includes clients from all over the state, if not the country. Since many sentences of this kind can be interpreted one way or the other, it is important that the context make clear what sort of contrast is being indicated by if not. See Usage Notes at doubt, should, wish.

if

(ɪf)
conj (subordinating)
1. in case that, or on condition that: if you try hard it might work; if he were poor, would you marry him?.
2. used to introduce an indirect question. In this sense, if approaches the meaning of whether
3. even though: an attractive if awkward girl.
4.
a. used to introduce expressions of desire, with only: if I had only known.
b. used to introduce exclamations of surprise, dismay, etc: if this doesn't top everything!.
5. as if as it would be if; as though: he treats me as if I were junior to him.
n
6. an uncertainty or doubt: the big if is whether our plan will work at all.
7. a condition or stipulation: I won't have any ifs or buts.
[Old English gif; related to Old Saxon ef if, Old High German iba whether, if]

IF

or

i.f.

abbreviation for
(Electronics) intermediate frequency

if

(ɪf)

conj.
1. in case that; granting or supposing that; on condition that: If I were you, I wouldn't worry. I'll go if you do.
2. even though: an enthusiastic if small audience.
3. whether: She asked if I knew Spanish.
4. (used to introduce an exclamatory phrase): If only Dad could see me now!
5. that: I'm sorry if you don't agree.
n.
6. a supposition; uncertain possibility.
7. a condition or stipulation: There are too many ifs in his agreement.
Idioms:
ifs, ands, or buts, qualifications or excuses.
[before 900; Middle English, variant of yif, Old English gif, gef]
usage: if meaning “whether,” as in I haven't decided if I'll go, is sometimes criticized, but the usage has been standard in English for a long time and is found in Shakespeare, Dryden, and the King James Bible.

if

1. possible situations

You use if to introduce a conditional clause in which you mention a possible situation.

If you get tired, have a rest.
If the machine stops working, call this number.

You can use if to mention a situation that might exist in the future. In the conditional clause, you use the present simple form. Don't use a future form.

If all goes well, we will arrive by lunchtime.
If you make a mistake, you will have to start again.

You sometimes use if in a conditional clause to suggest that someone does something. You usually use the present simple in the conditional clause.

If you turn to page 15, you will see a list of questions.

You can use if to mention a situation that sometimes existed in the past. You usually use the past simple in the conditional clause.

They ate outside if it was sunny.
If we had enough money, we used to go to the cinema.

You can also use if to mention something that might have happened in the past, but did not in fact happen. In the conditional clause, you use the past perfect. Don't use the past simple.

If he had known the truth, he would have run away.
If they had not met, this book would never have been written.
2. unlikely situations

You also use if in conditional clauses to mention situations that do not exist, or events that are unlikely to happen. In the conditional clause, you use the past simple. Don't use a present tense.

They would find it difficult to get a job if they left the farm.
If she wanted to, she could be a dancer.

In formal writing, when the subject of the conditional clause is I, he, she, it, there, or a singular noun, you use were in the clause instead of 'was'.

If a problem were to arise, she would be able to resolve it.
Employees would be more productive if better resources were provided.

In conversation or informal writing people usually use was (except in the expression If I were you).

If I was a painter, I'd paint this garden.
We would prefer it if the test was a bit easier.

Sometimes was is used in formal writing too, but this is considered incorrect by many people.

3. in reported questions

If is also used in reported questions.

I asked her if I could help her.
I wonder if you understand what I mean.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:

if

conjunction
1. provided, assuming, given that, providing, allowing, admitting, supposing, granting, in case, presuming, on the assumption that, on condition that, as long as If you would like to make a donation, please enclose a cheque.
2. when, whenever, every time, any time She gets very upset if I exclude her from anything.
3. whether He asked if I had left with you, and I said no.
4. though, but, yet, although, albeit, despite being It was beautiful inside, if rather unhomely.
noun
1. doubt, condition, uncertainty, provision, constraint, hesitation, vagueness, stipulation This business is full of ifs.
Proverbs
"If ifs and ands were pots and pans there'd be no need for tinkers"
Translations
إِذَاإذا ، إنْفيما إذاكُلَّما، إن، عِندَمالَو
i kdyžjestližekdykolipokudzda
hvismenom
se
kuioletus
josolettamus
ako
amikor csakhavajon
efef, í hvert skipti, hvenær semhvortòótt
もしも・・・ならば
만일 ...이면
si
ar
jakad vienlai ganvai
dacă
ak
čeali
om
ถ้า
eğerfarzedelim kiher ...-diğindeher ...-dikçeise de
nếuhễ

if

[ɪf]
A. CONJ
1. (conditional) → si
I'll go if you come with meyo iré si tú me acompañas
if you studied harder you would pass your examssi estudiaras más aprobarías los exámenes
if they are to be believedsi hacemos caso de lo que dicen
if you ask meen lo que a mí se refiere
if you had come earlier, you would have seen himsi hubieras venido antes, le habrías visto
if I had known I would have told youde haberlo sabido te lo habría dicho, si lo sé te lo digo
if it hadn't been for you we would have all diedde no ser or de no haber sido por ti hubiéramos muerto todos
you can go if you likepuedes ir si quieres
if necessarysi es necesario, si hace falta
if I were you I would go to Spainyo que tú iría a España, yo en tu lugar iría a España
if you were to say that you'd be wrongsi dijeras eso te equivocarías
if it weren't for him, we wouldn't be in this mess!¡si estamos metidos en este lío, es por él!, ¡no estaríamos metidos en este lío de no ser por él!
if and when she comessi (en efecto) viene, en el caso de que venga
2. (= whenever) → si, cuando
if she wants any help she asks mesi or cuando necesita ayuda me la pide
if it was fine we went out for a walksi or cuando hacía buen tiempo dábamos un paseo
3. (= although) → aunque, si bien
it's a nice film if rather longes una buena película, aunque or si bien algo larga
I will do it, even if it is difficultlo haré, aunque me resulte difícil
I'll finish it if or even if it takes me all daylo terminaré aunque me lleve todo el día
even if he tells me himself I won't believe itni aunque me lo diga él mismo me lo creo
I couldn't eat it if I triedaunque me lo propusiera no lo podría comer
4. (= whether) → si
he asked me if I had eatenme preguntó si había comido
I don't know if he's hereno sé si está aquí
I wonder if it's trueme pregunto si es or será verdad
5. (in phrases)
if anything this one is betterhasta creo que éste es mejor, éste es mejor si cabe
it's no bigger than our last house, if anything, it's even smallerno es más grande que nuestra última casa si acaso, es incluso más pequeña
I think you should paint it blue, if anythingen todo caso or si acaso, yo lo pintaría de azul
as ifcomo si
she acts as if she were the bossse comporta como si fuera la jefa
as if by chancecomo por casualidad
it isn't as if we were richno es que seamos precisamente ricos, no es que seamos ricos que digamos
if at all they aren't paid enough, if (they are paid) at allles pagan poco, eso cuando les pagan
change it to red, if at allen todo caso or si acaso, cámbialo a rojo
if it isn't old Garfield!¡pero si es el bueno de Garfield!, ¡hombre, Garfield, tú por aquí!
if notsi no
are you coming? if not, I'll go with Mark¿vienes? si no, iré con Mark
if only I had known!¡de haberlo sabido!
if only I could!¡ojalá pudiera!
if only we had a car!¡ojalá tuviéramos coche!, ¡quién tuviera coche!
I'll come, if only to see himvoy, aunque sólo sea para verlo
I'll try to be there, if only for a few minutestrataré de estar allí, aunque sólo sea unos minutos
if sosi es así, de ser así
are you coming? if so, I'll wait¿vienes? si es así or de ser así te espero
see as, even B4
B. N
that's or it's a big ifes un gran pero
there are a lot of ifs and butshay muchas dudas sin resolver
IF

Indicative/Subjunctive after "si"
Si can be followed by both the indicative and the subjunctive. The indicative describes facts and likely situations; the subjunctive describes remote or hypothetical situations.
Indicative
 Use si + ((PRESENT INDICATIVE)) to translate if + ((PRESENT)) in English:
If you go on overeating, you'll get fat Si sigues comiendo tanto, vas a engordar Don't do it if you don't want to No lo hagas si no quieres
! Don't use si with the ((PRESENT SUBJUNCTIVE)).

Subjunctive
 Use si + ((IMPERFECT SUBJUNCTIVE)) to translate if + ((PAST)) for remote or uncertain possibilities and hypotheses:
If we won the lottery, we would never have to work again Si nos tocase or tocara la lotería, no tendríamos que trabajar nunca más What would you do if I weren't here? ¿Qué harías si yo no estuviese or estuviera aquí?
 Use si + ((PLUPERFECT SUBJUNCTIVE)) (= hubiera or hubiese + ((PAST PARTICIPLE))) to translate if + had + ((PAST PARTICIPLE)):
If Paula hadn't lost her ticket, she would have left today Si Paula no hubiera or hubiese perdido el billete, habría salido hoy
NOTE Alternatively, instead of a clause with si, you can often use de (no) haber + ((PAST PARTICIPLE)):
If Paula hadn't lost her ticket, she would have left today De no haber perdido Paula el billete, habría salido hoy

if

[ˈɪf]
conj
(in conditional sentences)si
You can have it if you like → Tu peux le prendre si tu veux.
I'd be pleased if you could do it → Je serais ravi si vous pouviez le faire.
if I were you → si j'étais vous, à votre place
if necessary → si nécessaire, le cas échéant
if only → si seulement
If only he were here → Si seulement il était là.
If only I had more money! → Si seulement j'avais plus d'argent!
if only to ... → ne serait-ce que pour ...
if only to show him my gratitude → ne serait-ce que pour lui témoigner ma gratitude
if not → sinon
Are you coming? If not, I'll go with Mark → Est-ce que tu viens? Sinon, j'irai avec Mark.
(= whether) → si
Do you know if he's there? → Savez-vous s'il est là?
it's not as if ... (= the explanation is not that) → ce n'est pas comme si ...
It's not as if my personality has changed → Ce n'est pas comme si ma personnalité avait changé.
if anything
No, it's not too short, if anything it's a bit too long → Non, ce n'est pas trop court, ce serait même trop long.
n
there are a lot of ifs and buts → il y a beaucoup de si mpl et de mais mpl

if

conjwenn; (= in case also)falls, für den Fall, dass …; (= whether, in direct clause) → ob; I would be really pleased if you could do itwenn Sie das tun könnten, wäre ich sehr froh; if it rains tomorrowwenn es or falls es morgen regnet; if I may say sowenn ich das sagen darf; I wonder if he’ll comeich bin gespannt, ob er kommt; do you know if they have gone?wissen Sie, ob sie gegangen sind?; what if something happens to him?was ist, wenn ihm etwas passiert?; I’ll let you know if and when I come to a decisionich werde Ihnen mitteilen, ob und wenn ich mich entschieden habe; where will you live when you get married? — if we get married!wo wollt ihr wohnen, wenn ihr heiratet? — wenn wir überhaupt heiraten!; if I ask him he does help mewenn ich ihn darum bitte, hilft er mir auch; (even) ifauch wenn; it’s a good film (even) if rather longes ist ein guter Film, auch wenn er etwas lang ist; even if they are poor, at least they are happysie sind zwar arm, aber wenigstens glücklich; if onlywenn (doch) nur; if only I had known!wenn ich das nur gewusst hätte!; I would like to see him, if only for a few hoursich würde ihn gerne sehen, wenn auch nur für ein paar Stunden; as ifals ob; he acts as if he were or was (inf) richer tut so, als ob er reich wäre; it’s not as if I meant to hurt heres ist nicht so, dass ich ihr hätte wehtun wollen; as if by chancewie zufällig; he stood there as if he were dumber stand wie stumm da; meat was available once a week, if at allFleisch gab es einmal in der Woche, wenn überhaupt; if necessaryfalls nötig, im Bedarfsfall; if sowenn ja; if notfalls nicht; if not, why not?falls nicht, warum?; this is difficult, if not impossible, to dodas ist schwer, wenn nicht sogar unmöglich; if I were you/himwenn ich Sie/er wäre, an Ihrer/seiner Stelle; if anything this one is biggerwenn überhaupt, dann ist dieses hier größer; if I know Pete, he’ll …so wie ich Pete kenne, wird er …; well, if he didn’t try to steal my bag! (inf)wollte der doch tatsächlich meine Tasche klauen (inf); well, if it isn’t old Jim! (inf)ich werd verrückt, das ist doch der Jim (inf)
nWenn nt; it’s a big ifdas ist noch sehr fraglich, das ist die große Frage; ifs and butsWenn und Aber nt

if

[ɪf]
1. conj
a.se
if anyone comes in → se viene or venisse qualcuno
I'll go if you come with me → ci vado se vieni anche tu
I'd be pleased if you could do it → sarei molto contento se potessi farlo
if necessary → se (è) necessario
if I were you → se fossi in te, io al tuo posto
if you ask me ... → secondo me...
b. (whenever) → tutte le volte or ogni volta che, quando
if we are in Scotland, we always go to see her → quando siamo in Scozia, andiamo sempre a trovarla
c. (although) (even) ifanche se + sub
I am determined to do it, (even) if it takes all week → sono deciso a farlo, dovessi impiegarci tutta la settimana
d. (whether) → se
I don't know if he is here → non so se c'è
e. (in phrases) if sose è così
if not → se no
if only → se solo or soltanto
if only she were here → se solo fosse qui
if only I could → se soltanto potessi, magari (potessi)
I would like to see her if only for a few minutes → vorrei vederla magari or anche solo per pochi minuti
if only to show him my gratitude → se non altro per esprimergli la mia gratitudine
as if → come se
as if by chance → come per caso
see also as, even
2. n there are a lot of ifs and butsci sono molti se e ma
that's or it's a big if → è un grosso punto interrogativo

if

(if) conjunction
1. in the event that; on condition that. He will have to go into hospital if his illness gets any worse; I'll only stay if you can stay too.
2. supposing that. If he were to come along now, we would be in trouble.
3. whenever. If I sneeze, my nose bleeds.
4. although. They are happy, if poor.
5. whether. I don't know if I can come or not.
if ˈonly
I wish that. If only I were rich!

if

إِذَا pokud hvis wenn εάν si jos si ako se もしも・・・ならば 만일 ...이면 als hvis jeżeli se если om ถ้า eğer nếu 如果