IF (countable and uncountable, plural IFs)

Initialism of interactive fiction.

Initialism of impact factor.

(protein) Initialism of intermediate filament.

(electronics) Initialism of intermediate frequency.


• FI, Fi, fi




Supposing that, assuming that, in the circumstances that; used to introduce a condition or choice.

(computing) In the event that a statement is true (a programming statement that acts in a similar manner).

Supposing that; used with past or past perfect subjunctive indicating that the condition is closed.

Supposing that; given that; supposing it is the case that.

Although; used to introduce a concession.

(sometimes proscribed) Whether; used to introduce a noun clause, an indirect question, that functions as the direct object of certain verbs.

(usually hyperbolic) Even if; even in the circumstances that.

Introducing a relevance conditional.

Usage notes

• Specifically a subordinating conjunction.

• Some usage critics recommend that if not be used to mean whether, since the distinction can remove ambiguity, as in the following example

Tell me if you can see her. (if the addressee can see her, then he or she must let the speaker know)

Tell me whether you can see her. (the speaker wants to know which instance is true: either the addressee's ability or inability to see her)

• This distinction is further encouraged because if cannot always be used in place of whether. For instance, if the noun clause acts as the subject of the sentence or an object of a preposition, the word must be whether. Examples

We like to talk about whether classical music is better than jazz. (not if classical music is better than jazz)

Whether you like today’s weather does not matter. (not If you like today’s weather)

• Another difference between if and whether is with the use of or not.

The sentences I don't know whether or not I passed or I don't know whether I passed or not are both correct

The sentence I don't know if I passed or not is correct, but I don't know if or not I passed is incorrect


if (plural ifs)

(informal) An uncertainty, possibility, condition, doubt etc.


• FI, Fi, fi

Source: Wiktionary


Word of the Day

28 November 2022


(noun) an advocate of the principles of humanism; someone concerned with the interests and welfare of humans

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