suppose | supposing CONDITIONAL

‘Suppose‘ can mean let’s imagine or consider the following situation or example.  For example: Suppose they rejected an 18th-century classification system  and incorporated instead the most advanced knowledge  of human genetic diversity and unity,  that human beings cannot be categorized  into biological races. TED It’s almost as if this imperative subordinates the whole sentence.  And we are waiting for the following result clause or sentence.  ‘that‘ can be used or not used. Suppose that the variants reach a hypothetical isolated city of 1 million people  who are completely susceptible to both viruses on the same day. TED Supposing, for example,  […]

suppose | supposing CONDITIONAL Read More »


The adverb ‘otherwise‘ has 3 listings in the English Vocabulary Profile. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN B1 used after an order or suggestion to show what the result will be if you do not follow that order or suggestion A search in the NOW corpus for: , otherwise _P _V 1 , OTHERWISE IT WILL 1394 There

otherwise Read More »

if you ask me

‘if you ask me’ is C2 in the English Vocabulary Profile and is used to give opinions. For example: And it‘s about damned time if you ask me. listen Collocations of ‘if you ask me’ in COCA show that this is used mostly to give negative opinions. 1 STUPID 10 2 NICELY 9 3 BS 6 4 DUMB

if you ask me Read More »

IF clause + SHALL clause

Here’s an expert example of using a conditional clause + ‘shall’ clause to express modality: Come on, if we don’t share a similar social consciousness, how shall we discuss social problems? Listen to this sentence. C2 point 225 in the category of MODALITY is defined: ‘shall’ in the main clause after an ‘if-‘ clause conditionals Long open queries are impossible on iWeb, so here we first look for the

IF clause + SHALL clause Read More »

if + necessary | any | anything | in doubt (subject and verb ellipsis)

Here are EXPERT EXAMPLES of subject and verb ellipsis after ‘if’: When you speak your character’s words, you can hear whether they sound natural, and fix them if necessary. TED *If necessary = if it is necessary. Unlike the billions of people who have few options, if any, due to war, poverty, or illness, you have plentiful opportunities to live decisively. TED *if any = if there are any.     Planet Radio If in doubt, don’t drive. *if in doubt = in you are in

if + necessary | any | anything | in doubt (subject and verb ellipsis) Read More »

declarative COULD ( past ability | suggestion | possibility ) with a range of verbs

A2 point 52 in MODALITY:

‘could’ with a limited range of verbs to make suggestions.

A2 point 27 in MODALITY:

negative form

B1 point 78 in MODALITY:

affirmative form of ‘could’ to talk about ability.

B1 point 79 in MODALITY:

‘could’ with an increasing range of verbs to make suggestions.

declarative COULD ( past ability | suggestion | possibility ) with a range of verbs Read More »

If possible

Using “if-” clauses with “possible” is a way to soften language and show respect for the listener’s autonomy. It acknowledges that the listener has the choice to fulfill the request or not, without feeling pressured. This construction is commonly used in various social situations to maintain politeness and avoid sounding too demanding or forceful.

If possible Read More »


Listed at A2, the “future” or “first” conditional in English is a grammatical structure used to discuss possible future events. This structure often expresses a cause and effect relationship, with the effect (main clause) being conditional on the cause (if-clause). The typical structure is: “If” + present simple tense, “will” + verb (base form). The page provides examples of this structure from various sources, including student writings, expert examples, and lines from 1934 movies. It also discusses how different English Grammar Profile points highlight this grammar point.


IF + present simple

“If + present simple + present simple in the main clause”: This structure is used to talk about things that are always true, such as scientific facts, or to give advice. For example, “If this happens, money only brings him loneliness, not happiness.” Here, the speaker is expressing a general truth or observation about the consequences of a certain situation.

“If + present simple + imperative in the main clause”: This structure is used to give advice or make suggestions. The “if” clause presents a condition, and the imperative in the main clause suggests what should be done if that condition is met. For example, “If you feel sick, see a doctor.” Here, the speaker is giving advice on what to do when feeling sick.

“If + present simple + can in the main clause”: This structure is used to talk about possible or likely situations in the future. The “if” clause sets up a condition, and “can” in the main clause expresses what will be possible if that condition is met. For example, “If we properly invest into data infrastructure and data preparation, all this can be avoided.” Here, the speaker is expressing that a certain undesirable outcome can be avoided if proper investments are made.

These structures are very common in English and are used in various contexts to express conditions and their potential outcomes.

IF + present simple Read More »


In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 74 in the category of CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: PRESENT SIMPLE ‘IF’ CLAUSE + MODAL, FUTURE, POSSIBLE OUTCOME: introduce a possible future condition, with modal verbs in the main clause, to talk about a possible result. A search in TED corpus for expert examples: If you‘ve got a couple of final words you want to share, that would be great. listen So if you look that up, you can hear more of those tunes. listen PELIC


IF clause + imperative ( hedging )

Hedging is a technique used in English to express politeness and indirectness. It involves using certain words or phrases to soften the impact of what we’re saying or writing, making it less direct or categorical. The ‘if-’ clause (‘if you want’, ‘like’, ‘prefer’) is a common form of hedging used to soften the directness of

IF clause + imperative ( hedging ) Read More »

if not (ELLIPTED)

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 59 in CLAUSES is defined: ‘If not’ as a conditional clause to offer an alternative to refer to a previous direct or indirect ‘yes-no’ question where the answer might be ‘no’. *I don’t believe there must be a reference to a previous question for this grammar to show B1 complexity.

if not (ELLIPTED) Read More »

anything (ellipsis)

In the context of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Level C1, Point 100 in the PRONOUNS/indefinite category refers to the use of the word “anything” in an ellipted clause. Specifically, it pertains to the construction where “anything” is used to replace a hypothetical or conditional clause that begins with “if there is anything.”

An ellipted clause is a sentence or phrase in which certain words are omitted but can be understood from the context. In this case, the full conditional clause is not explicitly stated but is implied by the use of “anything.”

For example:

If there is anything you need, let me know. (Full conditional clause)
Anything you need, let me know. (Ellipted clause)
In the ellipted clause, “anything” takes the place of the omitted conditional clause “if there is anything.” It suggests that the person should inform the speaker if there is any specific requirement or request.

This construction allows for more concise and efficient communication by omitting redundant information while conveying the intended meaning.

anything (ellipsis) Read More »

if you should

C1 points: 114 in CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: subordinate conditional clauses with ‘if you should’, in polite, formal contexts *Most of the English Grammar Profile examples include: ‘if you should have any’ (questions|concerns|problems) + don’t hesitate…’ Therefore, this is offering help or giving advice.  ‘should’ here gives a slight feeling of  ‘it is unlikely’ or

if you should Read More »


C1 point 112 in CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: Conditional subordinate clauses with ‘if’ + the past perfect simple and modal verb + ‘have’ + ‘-ed’ in the main clause, to talk about imagined situations in the past, often with regret. *Note the same definition with ‘would‘ is listed at B1!  Basically, this means that for