English as Foreign: IF / IN CASE?
“Let us know in case you have any questions.” – is one of those phrases we hear all the time. However, is it correct? Or should it be “Let us know, if you have any questions.”? Those are the questions...
Let’s find out the subtle difference between IF and IN CASE.
In a nutshell, “if” suggests a condition, whereas “in case” is a precaution:
“I have bought some extra meat in case we need more.” (I have bought more meat beforehand, so that we have enough of it.)
“I will buy more meat if we need more.” (When we run out of meat – I will go and buy some more.)
Here is another example:
“We’ll proofread the article in case there are mistakes.” (We will proofread the article, because there might be mistakes.)
“We’ll proofread the article if we notice mistakes.” (We won’t read the entire article, unless we notice mistakes.)