Conjunctions of Condition

As their name requires, conjunctions of condition are used to express events that need a special condition to happen.

What Are Conjunctions of Condition in English?

What Are Conjunctions of Condition?

Conjunctions of condition are used to express a condition or contingency that must be met for something to happen or be true. They are words that connect two clauses or phrases to indicate that one is dependent on the other.

Common Conjunctions of Condition

The following list presents some of the conjunctions that can be used to form conditional sentences:

Here are a few examples using these conjunctions:

If they hold the party without me, I am going to get angry.

He was going to ditch us unless we told him the truth.

Once you learn it, you will love it for the rest of your life.

If

The conjunction 'if' is used to introduce a clause that expresses a condition or contingency that must be met for something to happen or be true. It is commonly used in the zero, first, second, third, and mixed conditionals. Here are a few examples:

If you were here, they wouldn't hurt me.

If Marco comes, I will stay for dinner.

Unless

Unless is used to indicate that something will not happen if something else does not happen. In other words, 'unless' means 'if not'. Here are a few examples:

He won't go to sleep unless you tell him a story.

Unless you call Alex, he won't leave the house.

Once

The conjunction 'once' usually means 'as soon as', but in some contexts, it can also mean the same as 'if'. In general, 'once' is used to indicate that something will happen immediately after a certain condition is met. For example:

Once you get to know him, he will seem really interesting.

Once he becomes angry, no one can control him.

Phrases That Indicate Conditions

Using conjunctions of condition to talk about a condition

There are some phrases that can act as conjunctions to link two clauses, where one of the clauses expresses a condition. Here are the phrases:

  • In case
  • As long as/so long as
  • Provided (that)
  • Only if
  • If only

In Case

'In case' is used to express the possibility that something might happen, and to prepare for that possibility by taking action or making a plan. It can also be used to express a condition or contingency that must be met in order for something to happen or be true. Here are a few examples:

Keep the blanket, in case it gets cold at night.

In case he calls, tell him that his mother is ok now.

As Long As, So Long As

'As long as' and 'so long as' have the same meaning. They are both used to introduce a clause that expresses a condition and can mean 'provided that'. Check out the examples:

As long as you behave, they will keep you in their house.

She would take care of the kids so long as you pay her.

Provided (that)

The conjunction 'provided' is sometimes followed by the word 'that'. Together, they are used to introduce a clause that expresses a condition, and can mean 'in a condition that', 'if', or 'only if'.
Check out a few examples:

You can stay here, provided that your mother is ok with it.

The doctor will help, provided that he is not pretending to be sick.

Only If

Only if has the same meaning as provided that. It means 'in a condition that'. Here are a few examples:

Maria will talk to him, only if it benefits her.

Only if you read more about history, you can understand that it repeats over and over.

If Only

If only is used to express a hypothetical or wishful condition in which something unpleasant could be avoided or changed. Check out these examples for more clarification:

If only she had paid more money, we could have been sure that the products are original.

I would do whatever I could if only she asked me.

Inversion

We can form conditional sentences without 'if' by using an inverted past subjunctive clause which marks the condition, followed by the main clause which expresses the consequence. This makes the sentence more formal. Pay attention to the examples:

Had I known you better, I would never have punched you in the face in the first place. → If I have known you better, I would never have punched you in the face in the first place.

Were I you, I would take the job offer. → If I were you, I would take the job offer.

Review

Conjunctions of condition are used to express a particular condition for something else to happen. They can be single words or phrases that can link two clauses. Here are conditional conjunctions.

  • If
  • Unless
  • Once
  • In case
  • As long as/so long as
  • Provided (that)
  • Only if
  • If only

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