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  • Category: Improve Your English

    If-then - should they always be a pair in every sentence?

    I have a doubt about the usage of if-then. Whenever we write a sentence beginning with 'If', should we also have to put 'then' in it at the appropriate point? That is, is it a mandatory requirement of English to place the pair always. Or is it that there are exceptions where this requirement does not come up and I can put 'if' but not 'then'?

    Are any of you aware of this usage and can give guidance on it? Please provide examples for a better understanding.
  • #669995
    'If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son! - Rudyard Kipling

    'If I were alone, I would cry
    And if I were with you, I'd be home and dry' - Pink Floyd

    'If you miss the train I'm on you will know that I am gone' - 500 Miles

    'If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands' - Nursery Rhyme

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #669998
    No, If & then don't go together. Then is an additional word used in local communication. It is not for official and incorrect to use. Moreover, it doesn't look nice with 'then'

    If you can do good, I too can do good.
    If you are just bad, I will be very bad.
    If you ask me, I will answer you.
    If you ask about if and then, it is really a fun.

    No life without Sun

  • #670005
    The word give(if-then) are paired only when used in conditional clauses. Otherwise it can be used as single but where we provide a condition, we use both together. These are used on situation and gives result.
    eg: - If you had told me you have headache, I would have brought medicine for you.
    - If you give me money, then I will get the medicine.

    “Each day provides its own gifts.” —Marcus Aurelius

  • #670006
    Was getting dinner ready and found myself humming an old favourite - If I were a carpenter and you were a lady, would you marry me anyway?
    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #670007
    If I ask you this, what would be your answer? Can't a carpenter marry a lady? Are our carpenters in this world remain bachelor forever?

    What was your lady then?

    No life without Sun

  • #670009
    A lady here means a woman of aristocratic descent. Anyway, it is an irrelevant question.
    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #670020
    It is an interesting observation and members have well illustrated whether to use them separately or as a pair. It is clear that it is not mandatory to use 'then' after 'if'. However if the contention of the sentence requires it, then it has to be used as a pair.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #670036
    In Mathematical solutions, we regularly use the combo - íf and then'.
    If x=y, then x+y=2y or 2x.
    If the sum of the two adjacent angles of a triangle is more than 90 degrees, then the triangle is known as ........ .

    Thus it depends on the context and may not be mandatory always. It's my view and am not proficient in English as you are!


  • #670041
    If and then is a case. A conditional case. Its use a lot in programming and maths as Patro suggested. If (a condition is satisfied) then (an action is carried out). If your actions don't depend on the verb, using then would be a waste.
    In Juana's example we see, "if I were a carpenter and you were a lady, would you marry me anyway". Here the condition is backed not by action but a question.
    "if I were alone, I would cry". Here the action and condition are connected. They are dependant. But we use then when we need a particular result.
    "if only I had found Apollo in time. Then I won't be here". Does it make sense? I don't know. I tried to make an example. If-then examples are pretty rare. I could not find them.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

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