Substitutes for “if”- “unless” & “in case”

How is it going everyone?

Today we are going to focus on a point which is not everyone’s favourite- conditionals. We are going to centre our attention on substituting “unless” and “in case” in place of “if” in conditional clauses and what their meaning would be within the sentence.

When would we use “unless” in place of “if”?

In conditional examples when we substitute “unless” in place of “if”, the meaning of “unless” is actually “except if”.


We can play on Saturday, unless it rains

Unless you study, you won’t pass the exam

I won’t go, unless she comes with me

What about using “in case” instead of “if”?

In English, it is also possible to use “in case” instead of “if”. When we do this in English, “in case” means “because it is possible that”.


I’ll take an umbrella, in case it rains

We won’t go now, in case you need some help

I will arrive early, in case the other teacher is late.

In all of these examples, we can see by the use of “in case” that it is very possible that the condition mentioned may happen. For example, it is possible that the teacher is going to be late, therefore I will arrive early to deal with any problems that may arise.

What is important to remember?

When trying to learn when we can use another way instead of “if”, it is important to make sure that we know the meanings of the words which we are using to substitute. This will make sure we are using them in the correct conditional context.

Always remember:

Unless = Except if

In case = Because it is possible that

If you would like any more information on this, remember you can sign up for free to the ABA course and check out unit 60 of the complete course.

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One comment

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