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  1. #1
    royh is offline Newbie
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    Default When do we use the phrase "XXXX, if you will" ?

    Hi guys,

    I have never been able to understand the usage of the phrase "if you will".

    Here is an example: "Having an experienced host -- a mentor, if you will -- will help you feel safe"

    When is it appropriate to use?
    Do you guys use that phrase very often?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: When do we use the phrase "XXXX, if you will" ?

    It's difficult to explain. If a person gives a description which is equivocal, I.E. could be thought of as more than one thing, then "if you will" is given after they have stated exactly what they meant. Using your example:

    "Having an experienced host will help you feel safe"

    That could refer to a number of different types of people. An experienced host could be someone who has ran a hotel for a number of years, or a person who often interviews people on talk shows. In your example though, the person has stated exactly what they meant with "a mentor", and then "if you will" follows this specification.

  3. #3
    royh is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: When do we use the phrase "XXXX, if you will" ?

    Robbie,

    The sentence below pretty much did the job I think. Thank you so much!
    Im just going to take some time to internalize it so that I can comfortably use in my everyday conversations.
    "That could refer to a number of different types of people. "
    From my interpretation, the whole sentence is usually a generalized statement.
    The "if you will" part is just trying to apply the specific part in the context of the audience, hoping that they can relate better to it, correct?

    Here is my attempt at constructing a sentence.
    "One of the symptoms of hanging out too much on English Learning forums, usingenglish.com if you will, is the dramatic improvement of your spoken english"

    What do you think?

  4. #4
    royh is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: When do we use the phrase "XXXX, if you will" ?

    One more sentence that Ive constructed:

    "prolonged usage of portable music players, an iPod if you will, was proven to be detrimental to your sense of hearing"

    Please feel free to criticize!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When do we use the phrase "XXXX, if you will" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by royh
    One more sentence that Ive constructed:

    "prolonged usage of portable music players, an iPod if you will, was proven to be detrimental to your sense of hearing"

    Please feel free to criticize!
    I think those are acceptable. I think that "prolonged usage of portable music players, an iPod if you will, was proven to be detrimental to your sense of hearing" would also work as "Prolonged usage of iPod's or portable music players, if you will, was proven to be detrimental to your sense of hearing."

    The useage of it gets quite flexible once you have the general idea of the way it's used.

  6. #6
    curmudgeon's Avatar
    curmudgeon is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: When do we use the phrase "XXXX, if you will" ?

    You could exchange ' if you will' to 'for example' or 'for instance' or maybe even 'in this case'

  7. #7
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    Default Re: When do we use the phrase "XXXX, if you will" ?

    Additionally,

    . . . if you will [for no other better term] permit/consider/entertain/accept that as a term or an example.

    Welcome, royh.

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