An example of if is someone saying they'll go to the beach when the sun shines.
If they had only come earlier!
There will be no ifs, ands, or buts in this matter.
If she was there, I didn't see her.
If A, then B, else C.
I don't know if I want to go or not.
It is a handsome if useless trinket.
Ask if he plans to come to the meeting.
If I come, I'll see him; if I were you, I wouldn't do that.
An engaging, if clumsy, story line.
An athlete with few, if any, peers.
Ask him if he knows her.
A clause filled with ifs.
I'd prefer it if you took your shoes off.
He was a great friend, if a little stingy at the bar.
Origin of if
- Middle English from Old English gif i- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English yif, yef, from Old English ġif, ġef (“if; whether, though”), from Proto-Germanic *jabai (“when, if”), from Proto-Indo-European *e-, *ē- (“then, at that time”). Cognate with Scots gif (“if, whether”), West Frisian oft (“whether”), Dutch of (“or, whether, but”), Middle Low German ef (“if, whether”), German ob (“if, whether”), Icelandic ef, if (“if”).