if: ordinary tenses

[if+ clause, + clause clause + if+ clause]

  • An if-clause can come at the beginning or end of the sentence.
      If you eat too much you get fat. You get fat if you eat too much.
  • We can use the same tenses with if as with other conjunctions.
      If you want to learn a musical instrument, you have to practise.
      If that was Mary, why didn’t she stop and say hello?
      If you don’t like hot weather, you’ll be unhappy in Texas.
  • In the if-clause, we usually use a present tense to talk about the future. (This happens after most conjunctions — )
      If I have enough time tomorrow, I ‘II come and see you.
      (NOT If I will have enough-ttme .. .)
      I’ll give her your love if I see her.
      (NOT . . . if I will see her. )

    We can use [if + .will] in polite requests, but the meaning is not really future.

      If you will come this way, I’ll take you to the manager’s office. (= If you are willing to come this way, . . .)