Conditionals in English are usually formed by using if with normal word order; but for the three past (subjunctive) forms were, should, and had, it is also possible to express the conditional through subject–auxiliary inversion alone, with no if in the conditional clause.
Does forming conditionals in this manner differ semantically from if-conditionals? Is some aspect of the conditional statement or the conditionality emphasised more in one version than in the other? Or are there differences in how and when they are used? Or are they simply completely interchangeable?
If I were you, I would try it again
Were I you, I would try it again
If I had seen it, I would have told you
Had I seen it, I would have told you
If you should drink, don’t get behind the wheel
Should you drink, don’t get behind the wheel