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If vs Provided

If, provided are both used to introduce conditional clauses.

When merely a possibility which may or may not be true is expressed, if is the usual conjunction.

  • I’ll pay you double if you get the work finished by Friday.
  • We’ll have the party in the garden if the weather’s good. If not (= if the weather is not good), it’ll have to be inside.
  • If anyone calls, just say I’ll be back in the office at four o’clock.
  • If she hadn’t called, I wouldn’t have known.
  • I wouldn’t work for them (even) if they paid me twice my current salary.
  • We’ll deal with that problem if and when it arises.
  • If disturbed, the bird may abandon the nest, leaving the chicks to die.

When the clause which follows names a stipulation or proviso, provided (or sometimes providing ) is the usual form.

  • We’ll buy everything you produce, provided of course the price is right.
  • Provided that you have the money in your account, you can withdraw up to £100 a day.