if

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of if in English

English Online Dictionary. What means if‎? What does if mean?

English

Etymology

From Middle English if, yif, yef, from Old English ġif, ġef (if; whether, though), from Proto-Germanic *jabai (when, if). Cognate with Scots gif (if, whether), Saterland Frisian af, of (if, whether), West Frisian oft (whether), Dutch of (or, whether, but), Middle Low German ef, if, af, of ("if; whether"; > German Low German of), German ob (if, whether), Icelandic ef, if (if).

Pronunciation

  • enPR: ĭf, IPA(key): /ɪf/
  • Rhymes: -ɪf

Conjunction

if

  1. Supposing that, assuming that, in the circumstances that; used to introduce a condition or choice.
    If it rains, I shall get wet.
  2. (computing) In the event that a statement is true (a programming statement that acts in a similar manner).
    If A, then B, else C.
  3. Supposing that; used with past or past perfect subjunctive indicating that the condition is closed.
    I would prefer it if you took your shoes off.
    I would be unhappy if you had not talked with me yesterday.
    If I were you, I wouldn't go there alone.
  4. Supposing that; given that; supposing it is the case that.
    If that's true, we had better get moving!
  5. Although; used to introduce a concession.
    He was a great friend, if a little stingy at the bar.
  6. (sometimes proscribed) Whether; used to introduce a noun clause, an indirect question, that functions as the direct object of certain verbs.
    I don't know if I want to go or not.
    • 1715–1717, Matthew Prior, Alma; or, The Progress of the Mind, Canto III:
      Quoth Matthew, “ [] / She doubts if two and two make four, / []
  7. (usually hyperbolic) Even if; even in the circumstances that.
    • 2004, David Lee Murphy and Kim Tribble (writers), Montgomery Gentry (singers), “If It’s The Last Thing I Do” (song), in You Do Your Thing (album):
      If it’s the last thing I do / If it takes me from Tubilo to Timbuktu / If it’s the last thing I do / I’m gonna dodge every road block, speed trap, county cop / To get my hands on you / If it’s the last thing I do.
  8. Introducing a relevance conditional.
    I have leftover cake if you want some.

Alternative forms

  • eef (representing various accents)
  • ifen, iffen, if'n (dialectal)

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 must let the speaker know)
Tell me whether you can see her. (the speaker wants to know whether the addressee can 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)

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

if (plural ifs)

  1. (informal) An uncertainty, possibility, condition, doubt etc.
    • 1709, Susannah Centlivre, The Busy Body, Act III, in John Bell (ed.), British Theater, J. Bell (1791), page 59,
      Sir Fran. Nay, but Chargy, if——— ¶ Miran. Nay, Gardy, no Ifs.——Have I refus'd three northern lords, two British peers, and half a score knights, to have put in your Ifs?
    • 1791 January, "Richardſon’s Chemical Principles of the Metallic Arts", in The Monthly Review, R. Griffiths, page 176,
      Well might Bergman add, (in his Sciographia,), “if the compariſon that has been made, &c. be juſt.” The preſent writer makes no ifs about the matter, and has ſuperadded a little inaccuracy of his own, […]

Derived terms

  • big if
  • no ifs, ands, or buts

Translations

See also

  • and
  • else
  • false
  • or
  • then
  • true
  • whether

Further reading

  • if at OneLook Dictionary Search

Anagrams

  • FI, Fi, fi

French

Etymology

From Middle French if, from Old French if, from either Frankish *īw (from Proto-Germanic *īhwaz) or Gaulish *iwos (yew, yew tree) via Vulgar Latin *ivus (from Proto-Celtic *iwos, compare Breton ivin, Old Irish , Welsh ywen); in either case from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eyHweh₂. See yew for more.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /if/

Noun

if m (plural ifs)

  1. yew

Further reading

  • “if” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).

Norman

Etymology

From Middle French if, from Old French if, from either Frankish *īw (from Proto-Germanic *īhwaz) or Gaulish *iwos (yew, yew tree) (from Proto-Celtic *iwos, compare Breton ivin, Old Irish , Welsh ywen); in either case from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eyHweh₂. See yew for more.

Noun

if m (plural ifs)

  1. (Jersey) yew

Old French

Etymology

From either Frankish *īw (from Proto-Germanic *īhwaz) or Gaulish *iwos (yew, yew tree) (from Proto-Celtic *iwos, compare Breton ivin, Old Irish , Welsh ywen); in either case from Proto-Indo-European *h₁eyHweh₂. See yew for more.

Noun

if f (oblique plural is, nominative singular if, nominative plural is)

  1. yew
  2. yew wood

Descendants

  • Middle French: [Term?]
    • French: if
  • Norman: if

Volapük

Etymology

Borrowed from English if.

Conjunction

if

  1. if

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.