- For Teachers
Hello.I have a question for you.
When do we use provided/providing in conditionals and what's the difference between the two?
(1) In the year 1906, two British brothers -- H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler
-- wrote a book entitled The King's English.
(2) It is SUPER difficult for ordinary people like me to understand, but
I have never forgotten one piece of advice they gave and that I would
like to pass on to you:
If you have a choice between using "if" or "provided," you will
NEVER make a mistake if you decide to use "if."
BUT sometimes it is possible to use "provided" incorrectly.
THEREFORE, I most respectfully suggest that you always
use "if"; when you become an advanced student, then it might
be time to consider using "provided (that)."
(3) If you ever wish to read the brothers' advice, just get a
copy of The King's English (Does Google books on the Web have
it???) and look in the index for "provided."
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
The King's English is indeed a fascinating book, but I would not recommend it to people learning English today. It was written over a century ago, and its 'rules' were rejected even then as over-prescriptive and/or old-fashioned by some people.
If you are looking for an 'authority', you would do better to try the rather more modern Fowler's Modern English Usage (3rd edition, 1996, edited by R W Burchfield) Oxford: OUP.
Thank you for your help.