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WHEN OR IF?
We use WHEN for something that is definite or sure to happen and IF for something that is not sure or certain.
Compare the following:
- When I wake up in the morning, I have a coffee.
- When I wake up late, I must hurry.
- If I don’t wake up on time tomorrow, please wake me up.
- If I don’t finish work too late, I’ll meet you this evening.
You can use either WHEN or IF for repeated actions or situations with an expected or predictable result.
- When / If I’m late, my boss gets angry. I’m late, my boss gets angry.
- When / If the baby wakes up, she cries.
Complete the sentences below with WHEN, IF or BOTH.
- I’ll be late _______ I don’t hurry.
- We will see you in Paris __________ we go for Maria’s wedding next summer. We’ve already booked the flights.
- You won’t pass your exam, _______ you don’t study.
- _______ students don’t study for their exams, they don’t pass.
- I’m not sure _______ I will go to work tomorrow.
- I’m not sure _______ the next meeting will be.
- I’m not sure _______ she likes me.
- _______ we go on holiday, we like to stay somewhere near the sea.
- _______ you go out in the rain without an umbrella, you will get wet.
- _______ he doesn’t wear sun cream, his skin goes red.