As If vs. If

'As if' and 'if' are both conjunctions, but they are used in different contexts. In this lesson, we will learn their similarities and differences.

"As If" vs. "If" in the English grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between 'as if' and 'if' is that they are used to convey different meanings and messages. 'As if' is used for comparison while 'if' introduces a condition.

Similarities and Differences

Parts of Speech

'As if' and 'if' are similar in their parts of speech.
They both are conjunctions. They are also classified as subordinating conjunctions.
However, there is a small distinction that requires attention:

  • 'As if' functions as the cause and effect subordinating conjunction.
  • 'if' functions as the conditional subordinating conjunction.

Take a look at the following examples:

She acted as if she is better than everyone.

She would help a charity if she wins the lottery.

Making Comparison

As mentioned earlier, we use 'as if' to express how an action is done compared to another mainly to point out similarities. Have a look:

He looked as if he had seen a ghost.

They acted as if they were from FBI.

Conditional Sentences

We use 'if' in conditional sentences. The if- clause introduces the condition and the main clause represents the result. We use 'if' with all types of conditionals. Have a look:

If I had a daughter, I'd name her Natasha.

We would go to the park, if the weather is nice.

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