Business Writing Tip #86—Alternatives to “If”

ifWe often use the word “if” in English for conditionals. These are sentence where we express a condition.

  • If you turn the key, the engine will start.
  • If he brings back the book I lent him, I’ll lend it to you.
  • If the lifeguard hadn’t seen them, they would have drowned.

But there are some other words we can use to introduce conditionals, and by using other words we add variety and interest to our language.

So long as/as long as

  • So/As long as you are going to the conference, you may as well give a presentation.

Provided/providing that

  • You can drive the company care providing/provided that you are fully insured.


  • Supposing the sales figures plummet, what then?


  • The merger will go ahead, assuming the other company is still interested.

Even if

  • She can’t fly first class, even if she is the finance manager.

If only

  • If only we’d made the changes to the brand earlier, we might have been able to capture more market share.

On condition that

  • You can attend the conference on condition that you make sure you make contact with the principal speakers.


  • Unless our sales pick up, we are not going to be able to pay bonuses this year.

If and when

  • Annual bonuses will be reintroduced if and when sales improve.


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