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English definition of “if”

if

conjunction uk   /ɪf/ us  

if conjunction (IN THAT SITUATION)

A2 used to say that a particular thing can or will happen only after something else happens or becomes true: I'll pay you double if you get the work finished by Friday. We'll have the party in the garden if the weather's good. If not (= if the weather is not good), it'll have to be inside. If anyone calls, just say I'll be back in the office at four o'clock. If she hadn't called, I wouldn't have known. I wouldn't work for them (even) if they paid me twice my current salary. We'll deal with that problem if and when it arises. If disturbed, the bird may abandon the nest, leaving the chicks to die. although: They're great kids, even if they can be demanding.literary It was a hot, if windy day. B1 every time: If water is heated to 100°C it turns to steam. If I don't get enough sleep I get a headache. used to mean 'if it is true that': I'm very sorry if I've offended you.

if conjunction (WHETHER)

B1 used to introduce a clause, often in indirect speech, that shows two or more possibilities: Mrs Kramer called half an hour ago to ask if her cake was ready. I don't care if he likes it or not - I'm coming! I was wondering if you'd like to come to the cinema with me this evening?
Compare

if conjunction (REQUEST)

used when you want to make a polite request or remark: If you'd like to take a seat, Mr Chang will be with you in a moment. Would you mind if I open/opened (= can I open) the window? There are, if you don't mind me saying so, one or two problems with this plan.
Grammar

if

noun [C usually singular] uk   /ɪf/ informal us  
something that is not certain or not yet decided: There's a big if hanging over the project still (= it is uncertain whether the project will happen).
(Definition of if from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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