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If..........then

English translation: for emphasis

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:conditional clause plus then
English translation:for emphasis
Entered by: Kim Metzger
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

14:07 Dec 29, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: If..........then
Please read the following sentences:

1.If you want to go there, then I'll accompany you.

2.If you want to go there, I'll accompany you.

I want to ascertain whether it is imperative to use "then" here, or otherwise the second option is also acceptable. Whether we have got both versions in vogue in English?

Thank you in advance :o)
chopra_2002
India
Local time: 05:18
for emphasis
Explanation:
I like to use 'then' sometimes for emphasis or to focus a long and complicated sentence, but it's not necessary in this short sentence.
Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 17:48
Grading comment
Thanks for clearing this. I am also thankful to all other answerers for their valuable suggestions :o)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +13for emphasis
Kim Metzger
4 +3both acceptable, but 2nd version is preferablentext
5 +2secondhelenagran
5either is acceptable
airmailrpl
4Mathematics and realityAmilcar


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
if..........then
both acceptable, but 2nd version is preferable


Explanation:
"Then" isn't really needed.

ntext
United States
Local time: 17:48
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 379

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Pike
2 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
2 hrs

agree  xxxcmwilliams
4 hrs
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +13
if..........then
for emphasis


Explanation:
I like to use 'then' sometimes for emphasis or to focus a long and complicated sentence, but it's not necessary in this short sentence.

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 17:48
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2249
Grading comment
Thanks for clearing this. I am also thankful to all other answerers for their valuable suggestions :o)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Igor Deschenko
4 mins

agree  David Knowles: You would use "then" in the following case: If you insist on going there [where perhaps it's dangerous or unfamiliar], then I'd better accompany you.
4 mins
  -> Good example. I also think the legal profession likes 'then' for their conditional clauses.

agree  Stefanie Sendelbach
6 mins

agree  Patricia Fierro, M. Sc.
19 mins

agree  jccantrell
1 hr

agree  Jörgen Slet
2 hrs

agree  Laurel Porter: I second David's example. Unless it's for emphasis, leave out the "then".
4 hrs

agree  cendrine marrouat
4 hrs

agree  joannap
4 hrs

agree  Patricia Baldwin: I'm with Laurel here.
5 hrs

agree  Catherine Navarro
5 hrs

agree  Nado2002
7 hrs

agree  Daniel Mencher
10 hrs
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
second


Explanation:
the second option is acceptable, it is the 1st conditional
Example:

If you behave, I will give you a present.

Then is not necessary

helenagran
Portugal
Local time: 23:48

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Igor Deschenko
3 mins

agree  Jörgen Slet
2 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Mathematics and reality


Explanation:
To put in the "then" is never really "wrong", but it can be awfully stilted.

In many "academic" uses it is recommended to err on the side of too many then"s. This is particularly true if one is stating "A implies B" as "If A, then B"; but it is not so limited. In a scientific paper one might read: "If liquid nitrogen is used as a coolant, then blah, blah, blah. Even though the sentence is very simple, to put the "then" in would be usually preferred: it leaves no doubt as to the "mind set" of the sentence.

In "real life English" there needs to be a good reason to put in the "then". That is basically the reason of clarity: if the sentence without the "then" is in any way nebulous, and with it it is crystal clear, then (!!!!!!!) put the confounded conjunction in (if conjunction is what it is).

This topic is often discussed, in more or less these terms, in style manuals. I do not have a Strunk and White handy, but I bet it is discussed there. If not, then I am wrong. Excuse me, if not, I am wrong. No, no, if not, THEN I am wrong.

In writings reflecting conversational Eglish, the "then" should be there if, and only if, the average speaker would tend to use it. That will be RARELY.



Amilcar
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
if..........then
either is acceptable


Explanation:

if you want to use either, then it will be acceptable

if you want to use either, it will be acceptable

airmailrpl
Brazil
Local time: 21:48
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 1152
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