6 Smart Ways to use IF at work

6 Smart Ways to Use ‘IF’ at Work

Did you know that this little word … ‘IF’ … has many functions in English?! Read on to discover an easy way to upgrade your English fluency!

LEVEL: Intermediate, Upper Intermediate and Advanced English Lesson

INTERACTIVE QUIZ INCLUDED 

Master these 6 ways to use ‘if’ at work when you speak and write email. You can use ‘if’ to:

> Give advice

> Make an offer

> Ask permission

> Talk about possibility and make promises

> Make a suggestion

> Make a request

Lesson by Kerin.
This post is dedicated to Sonia Martino 💙

6 Smart Ways to use IF

1. GIVING ADVICE

 

We often use the phrase If I were you to give advice.

For example:

  • If I were you, I’d look for a new job.
  • I’d try speaking with her again if I were you.
Use IF to give advice

2. MAKING AN OFFER

The phrases If you like or If you want are often used to introduce offers

For example:

  • I’ll help at the trade fair, if you like.
  • If you like I can pick you up on the way to the event.
how to use if to make an offer

3. ASKING PERMISSION

We can use if in requests for permission after the phrases Is it OK/all right and with the phrases Do you mind/Would you mind… 

For example: 

  • Is it ok if I leave early tomorrow?
  • Is it all right if Mark joins the meeting?
  • Do you mind if I don’t attend the conference call tomorrow?

 

How to use if to ask permission

ps. To learn more about polite and diplomatic advanced English, see our post How Politeness & Diplomacy in English Can Help Your Career

4. TALKING ABOUT FUTURE POSSIBILITY & MAKING A PROMISE

We can use IF in 1st conditional sentences to talk about the possible future. This is often used when you want to make a promise.  

For example: 

  • If you buy the latest model, we will give you a free service next year.
  • I’ll definitely move there if we open the new office in London.
How to use IF first conditional

5. MAKING A SUGGESTION

We can use the 1st and 2nd conditional sentences with if to make suggestions for action

For example: 

  • If you want that job, you should get a certificate of English.
  • If you had invested in that company you would be rich by now.
How to make a suggestion using IF

6. MAKING A REQUEST

The phrase I would be grateful if you could is a polite way of making a request.  Other phrases that are similar are I was wondering if you would… and I’d appreciate it if you could … 

For example: 

  • I’d be grateful if you could send me a copy of your catalogue?
  • I was wondering if I could have a quote by Friday?
How to use IF to make a request

ACTIVATE!

1. Play a quick round of memory to see if you can match the ‘if’ phrase to the function

2. Match the phrases to make full sentences

3. Write your own examples in the comments for feedback 👇

That’s it for this lesson. I hope you liked it. If you did, please share! 😉

Kerin English Teacher

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Responses

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  1. Hello – thank you Karin for very useful lesson.
    1. Request: I was wondering if you can tell me in the end of the week.
    2. Promise: I will give you the discount if you write a review on our page please.
    3. Offer: If you like I can introduce you to my friends.
    4. Advice: I would study more if I were you

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you Angela! Good examples, well done.

      ps. A little correction > in the end of the week. = by the end of the week.

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