top of page

If and whenをめぐるQ&A (3) 7個のコメント

ネット上のある質問者による “if and when”という表現の疑問点について、2回にわたり紹介致しました。この質問のポイントは、(1) “if and when”の “and when”部分は不要、(2)どうしても “and when”部分が必要というのならば、 “if or when”との表現にするべきだ、というものです。この指摘に対して12個のコメントが付いています。その内、“if and when”に直接関係のある7個コメント(他の5個は、質問文中のある文法についての議論でした)を翻訳しました。

(1) By Rey on December 24, 2005 8:20 AM

I hear it mostly during political rhetoric. They don’t want to appear weak on a position but they don’t want to make such a sure statement that might bite them later. So it’s almost like a positive if statement. Sort of like saying “this is an if because no one knows for sure...but it will happen because I warned you--but if it doesn’t, we got by lucky.”



(2) By Mark Heath on December 24, 2005 10:00 AM

It’s a response to someone who proposes an immediate solution to a potential problem.

The “if” casts doubt on whether the problem will ever take place.

The “when” insists that the problem should not be solved preemptively, but dealt with after it has happened.

So for example -

Potential Problem & Solution: “This computer is going to stop working soon. We need to buy another one now”.

Response: “If and when the computer breaks, we will buy another one”








(3) By Jonathan Ichikawa on December 24, 2005 1:15 PM

I think Mark is basically right, but I’m pretty sure it generalizes well beyond possible problems.

I think that “if” carries a pragmatic implicature in the relative unlikeliness of the antecedent. Including the “and when” may be a way to cancel that implicature.




(4) By chris corwin on December 24, 2005 4:47 PM

try this:

if it happens, i need to do something about it.

i won’t bother doing that thing i need to do until it actually happens, so i’ll also say that i will do this thing i need to do when it happens.

therefore: if and when...





(5) By Steve S on January 3, 2006 12:13 PM

Seems to me that what would be more appropriate, given the post and the comments is a simple “If...then” construct. This allows for the uncertainty (the “if”) part, and also denotes the fact that the action (or whatever would be stated with regard to the event that might happen) would follow the actual event.

In other words, instead of “If and when the computer breaks, we’ll buy a new one”, one can simply say, “If the computer breaks, we’ll buy a new one.” Doesn’t that simplify it and make it more grammatically understandable?

steve :)



つまり、「もし、そのコンピュータが壊れた場合であって、かつ、壊れたときは、新しいものを購入します。」という代わりに、「もし、そのコンピュータが壊れた場合、新しいものを購入します。」ということができます。この方が簡単だし、文法的にも理解しやすいのでは? スティーブ :)

(6) By NerveBag on August 29, 2011 9:43 PM

I know this thread is years old, but I am behind you 100%, Jeremy (not 110%, of course). “If and when” is one of the stupidest language constructs I’ve ever heard -- and every time I DO hear it, I want to scream. The “justifications” and “explanations” you got here are useless, erroneous, sad and semantically ignorant. Hold your head high, knowing that you are right and most of these people are wrong. No matter how you try to justify it, “if and when” is illogical and paradoxical. Stop saying it!



(7) By PT on May 15, 2012 9:37 AM

Not only in English, we have this strange “jos ja kun” also in Finnish. I hate bad language in formal writings! Sorry my bad English, I’m not a native :)


英語だけでなく、フィンランド語でもこのような表現 “jos ja kun” があります。正式な文書に書かれた悪文って嫌ですね。拙い英語で申し訳ないです。英語は母国語ではないので。:)


コメントの(1)と(2)は、“if and when”が政治的問題について語られるときによく使用されるフレーズであることの指摘、(3)は“and when”の挿入についての考察、(4)は“if and when”構造への理解、(5)は代替案として“if…then”の提示、(6)は“if and when”の否定、(7)はフィンランド語でも同様の表現があることを教えてくれています。

次回、リガブロでは、 “if and when”についてのリガブロのコメントを述べたいと思います。

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
bottom of page