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Which of the following sentences is better to use?

  1. Where it is concluded that the report is incorrect it will be returned.
  2. If the report is incorrect then it will be returned.

Or do they mean the same thing?

These sentences will be used for a description of activities.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

In your examples, the sentence starting with if is easier to understand. But it always depends on the context of what's being written as well as target audience. I find where is used more often in formal writings, but not always.

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If you use where, the sentence is harder to parse. You run the risk of confusing your audience, who might think that you're talking about a location.

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"Where" is making a more general statement. In particular the statement with "if" would be appropriate whether we were talking about a particular report right now, or about any report which might happen to be produced; "where" would be appropriate only in the latter case. Apart from that, I agree with vehomzzz and joshdick

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