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.
Click here for online practice exercises with IF and WHEN.
Answer the questions below using WHEN or IF in your answers:
- What will happen if you don’t pay your taxes?
- Where will you go on your next holiday?
- What is the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?
- What do you normally cook at barbecues?
- What type of music do you listen to at the gym or when you are working out?
- How old do you have to be to drive in your country?
- How do you feel after you walk or run 5 kilometres?
- Do you use your phone when you are driving?
Download PDF worksheet and exercises