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Definition of "if" [if]

  • In the event that: If I were to go, I would be late. (conjunction)
  • Granting that: If that is true, what should we do? (conjunction)
  • On the condition that: She will play the piano only if she is paid. (conjunction)
  • Although possibly; even though: It is a handsome if useless trinket. (conjunction)
  • Whether: Ask if he plans to come to the meeting. (conjunction)
  • In case that, or on condition that (conjunction)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Used to introduce an indirect question. In this sense, if approaches the meaning of whether (conjunction)
  • Even though (conjunction)
  • Used to introduce expressions of desire, with only (conjunction)
  • Used to introduce exclamations of surprise, dismay, etc (conjunction)
  • An uncertainty or doubt (noun)
  • A condition or stipulation (noun)

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Use "if" in a sentence
  • "They might wish she didn't have to steal the nomination at the convention, but I doubt if ultimately many will have reservations about her actually doing it ... * if* they're able to keep the damage to a controllable minimum, and * if* they can effectively conceal their hand in it."
  • "This after he posted an open letter to the Republican Party in July in which he said he would be willing to re-join, \ "if and only if\" certain conditions would be met."
  • "Back then, if you wrapped yourself up in an American Flag, in most jurisdictions, you could wind up in jail…..if you were lucky."