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In case or if
In case or if
• Ann might phone tonight. I don't want to go out in case she phones. (= because it is possible she will phone)
• I'll draw a map for you in case you can't find our house. (= because it is possible you won't be able to find it)
We use just in case for a smaller possibility:
• I don't think it will rain but I'll take an umbrella just in case. (= just in case it rains)
Do not use will after in case. Use a present tense for the future
• I don't want to go out tonight in case Ann phones, (not 'in case Ann will phone')
- In case is not the same as if. We use in case to say why somebody does (or doesn't do) something. You do something now in case something happens later.
- We'll buy some more food in case Tom comes.(= Perhaps Tom will come; we'll buy some more food now, whether he comes or not; then we'll already have the food //he comes.)
- I'll give you my phone number in case you need to contact me.
- You should insure your bicycle in case it is stolen.
· We'll buy some more food if Tom comes. (= Perhaps Tom will come; if he comes, we'll buy some more food; if he doesn't come, we won't buy any more food.)
· You can phone me at the hotel if you need to contact me.
· You should inform the police if your bicycle is stolen.
You can use in case (+ past) to say why somebody did something:
- We bought some more food in case Tom came. (= because it was possible that Tom would come)
- I drew a map for Sarah in case she couldn't find the house.
- We rang the bell again in case they hadn't heard it the first time.
Put in case or if:
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