Results 1 to 8 of 8
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Nov 2011
    • Posts: 433
    #1

    "If" vs "in case (of)" - reopening of a past thread

    [not a teacher]

    This topic was discussed (hotly) back in 2009 in this forum. However the discussion terminated in two gentlemen (mostly contributing to that particular thread) agreeing to disagree. This falls far short of my expectations of what this forum is for.

    I see eye to eye with Svartnik who explained that

    'Take an umbrella in case it rains" means roughly the same as "Take an umbrella whatever the weather is at the time of your departure, against the possibility that it may rain later on'


    and


    'Take an umbrella in case of rain" means roughly the same as "Take an umbrella only if it actually rains at the time of your departure'




    In other words

    'in case something happens' means 'against the possibility of something happening' (precaution)

    'in case of something' means 'if something happens' (condition)


    Is this view on things correct?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,609
    #2

    Re: "If" vs "in case (of)" - reopening of a past thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    [not a teacher]

    This topic was discussed (hotly) back in 2009 in this forum. However the discussion terminated in two gentlemen (mostly contributing to that particular thread) agreeing to disagree. This falls far short of my expectations of what this forum is for.

    I see eye to eye with Svartnik who explained that

    'Take an umbrella in case it rains" means roughly the same as "Take an umbrella whatever the weather is at the time of your departure, against the possibility that it may rain later on' Yes.


    and


    'Take an umbrella in case of rain" means roughly the same as "Take an umbrella only if it actually rains at the time of your departure' No, not necessarily.




    In other words

    'in case something happens' means 'against the possibility of something happening' (precaution)

    'in case of something' means 'if something happens' (condition)


    Is this view on things correct? No.
    Bhai.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,307
    #3

    Re: "If" vs "in case (of)" - reopening of a past thread

    'Take an umbrella in case it rains" means roughly the same as "Take an umbrella whatever the weather is at the time of your departure, against the possibility that it may rain later on'
    Yes, that is what it means.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #4

    Re: "If" vs "in case (of)" - reopening of a past thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    This falls far short of my expectations of what this forum is for.
    There are many questions in for which there are no absolute answers. It is better to agree to differ than to waste a lot of time trying to prove the unprovable.

    This is a general point, not aboui 'in case (of)' in particular.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 902
    #5

    Re: "If" vs "in case (of)" - reopening of a past thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    agreeing to disagree. This falls far short of my expectations of what this forum is for.
    Then most likely we're going to have to agree to disagree. Trying to get two people to agree on anything is like herding cats.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 902
    #6

    Re: "If" vs "in case (of)" - reopening of a past thread

    Also, "in case of rain" could mean "in case the weather report calls for rain", which then would be precaution, not condition.

    And for the record, I think the conditional sense in this context to be slightly nonsensical. Rain is mercurial*; suggesting an umbrella is presupposing the person does not know the weather forecast, not that they can’t tell it’s raining right now.

    *Can weather be “mercurial”?
    Last edited by BobSmith; 04-Jan-2012 at 21:46.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Nov 2011
    • Posts: 433
    #7

    Re: "If" vs "in case (of)" - reopening of a past thread

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    There are many questions in for which there are no absolute answers. It is better to agree to differ than to waste a lot of time trying to prove the unprovable.

    This is a general point, not aboui 'in case (of)' in particular.

    Thanks, but in this case my persistence paid off. Now I have learned the error of my ways whereas the study of the past thread of the same title left me in the dark.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Nov 2011
    • Posts: 433
    #8

    Re: "If" vs "in case (of)" - reopening of a past thread

    [QUOTE=BobSmith;840233]Also, "in case of rain" could mean "in case the weather report calls for rain", which then would be precaution, not condition.


    This wins me over completely.

    I promise myself to stick to the good old unambiguous 'if' in cases when I want something done once a given condition is actually met. Then perhaps 'herding cats' will be that little bit less hopeless...


    Then again, the fire fighting instructions had better use 'if there is a fire' in place of 'in case of fire' to prevent people from stashing hotel fire fighting equipment under their beds just against the possibility of an inferno...

Similar Threads

  1. Defining "Street," "Road," "Avenue," "Boulevard"
    By ahumphreys in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 31-Dec-2010, 08:14
  2. [Vocabulary] Difference between "health" and "wellness", "Diagnosis" and "Analysis"
    By tobysky in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Dec-2010, 23:43
  3. "For" case in "The man is fishing for fish"
    By leke in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-Dec-2010, 12:11
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2008, 08:27
  5. confusing words "expressed" or "express" and "named" or"names"
    By Dawood Usmani in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2007, 19:33

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •