VerbAbout VerbsAction VerbsCausative VerbsContractionsDo and MakeFinite and Nonfinite VerbsGerundInfinitive FormInversionLinking VerbsModal VerbsMay and MightMoodsPhrasal VerbsSay and TellShallStative VerbsThird Person SingularUsed toRegular VerbsIrregular VerbsVerb FormsCompound Verbs
ConditionalConditionalZero ConditionalFirst ConditionalSecond ConditionalThird ConditionalMixed ConditionalInversion in Conditional Sentences
Passive VoicePassive VoicePresent Simple PassivePresent Continuous PassivePast Simple PassivePast Continuous PassivePerfect Tenses PassiveFuture Simple PassiveGoing to PassiveSay / Believe / SupposeGet + Participle
Adverbs of FrequencyAdverbs of FrequencyAdverbs of Frequency - Position in Sentence
QuestionsQuestion TagsRhetorical QuestionsEcho Questions
Reported SpeechReported SpeechModals in Reported SpeechReported Commands and RequestsReported QuestionsPresent Perfect in Reported SpeechFuture Perfect in Reported Speech
Irregular VerbsIrregular Verbs - GroupsIrregular Verbs - Forms
ParticiplesPresent ParticiplePast ParticiplePerfect Participle
Other TopicsWill vs. Going toIf / Even if / Whether / Unless If + Were or If + WasAs If / As Though + Past SubjunctiveHabits Expressed by Will and WouldHad BetterSubject
Read MoreAuxiliary VerbsAuxiliary Verbs: To BeAuxiliary Verbs: To HaveAuxiliary Verbs: To DoWhen To Use the Verb To Be
Grammar

If / Even if / Whether / Unless

a) even if = even though

Compare:

  • You must go now if you are ready.
  • You must go now even if you aren't ready.

b) whether ... or = if ... or:

  • You must go now whether you like it or not.

c) unless + affirmative verbif + negative:

  • Unless you start at once you'II be late = If you don't start at once you'II be late.
  • Unless you were of age you couldn't go there = If you weren't of age you couldn't go there

Note the difference between:

  • (a) Don't help Max if he needs no help .

and

  • (b) Don't help Max unless he needs help

In (a), he won't help Max even if he needs help. In (b) he will help Max if he needs help but doesn't want non-urgent calls.

unless + he'd/you'd like/prefer etc. normally replaces if he/you wouldn't like etc.:

  • I'll ask Jane, unless you'd prefer me to ask/unless you'd rather I asked Mike.

d) if it were not for/if it hadn't been for:

  • My father pays my fees. But for that I wouldn't be here.
  • The car broke down. But for that we would have been in time.

e) otherwise = if this doesn't happen/didn't happen/hadn't happened:

  • We must be back before midnight; otherwise we'II be locked out = If we are not back by midnight we'II be locked out.
  • Her mother gives him money; otherwise he wouldn't be here = If his father didn't pay his fees he wouldn't be here.
  • I used my computer; otherwise I'd have taken longer = If I hadn't used my computer I'd have taken longer.

f) In colloquial English or (+ else) can often replace otherwise:

  • We must be early or (else) we won't get a seat.

g) provided (that) can replace if when there is a strong idea of limitation or restriction. It is chiefly used with permission:

  • You can camp here provided you leave no mess.

h) suppose/supposing ... ? = what if ... ?:

  • Suppose Mike is late? = What if/What will happen if the Mike is late?
  • Suppose no one had been at teh party? = What if no one had been at the party?

Suppose can also introduce suggestions:

  • Suppose you ask him = Why don't you ask him?
VerbAbout VerbsAction VerbsCausative VerbsContractionsDo and MakeFinite and Nonfinite VerbsGerundInfinitive FormInversionLinking VerbsModal VerbsMay and MightMoodsPhrasal VerbsSay and TellShallStative VerbsThird Person SingularUsed toRegular VerbsIrregular VerbsVerb FormsCompound Verbs
ConditionalConditionalZero ConditionalFirst ConditionalSecond ConditionalThird ConditionalMixed ConditionalInversion in Conditional Sentences
Passive VoicePassive VoicePresent Simple PassivePresent Continuous PassivePast Simple PassivePast Continuous PassivePerfect Tenses PassiveFuture Simple PassiveGoing to PassiveSay / Believe / SupposeGet + Participle
Adverbs of FrequencyAdverbs of FrequencyAdverbs of Frequency - Position in Sentence
QuestionsQuestion TagsRhetorical QuestionsEcho Questions
Reported SpeechReported SpeechModals in Reported SpeechReported Commands and RequestsReported QuestionsPresent Perfect in Reported SpeechFuture Perfect in Reported Speech
Irregular VerbsIrregular Verbs - GroupsIrregular Verbs - Forms
ParticiplesPresent ParticiplePast ParticiplePerfect Participle
Other TopicsWill vs. Going toIf / Even if / Whether / Unless If + Were or If + WasAs If / As Though + Past SubjunctiveHabits Expressed by Will and WouldHad BetterSubject
Read MoreAuxiliary VerbsAuxiliary Verbs: To BeAuxiliary Verbs: To HaveAuxiliary Verbs: To DoWhen To Use the Verb To Be