Since "if P, Q" is grammatical, is it not the case that the "then" in "if P, then Q" is redundant?
Where P and Q are clauses.
For example, "if it rains today, the road shall be wet tomorrow" is grammatically impeccable. (Or is it not?)
Doesn't that mean that the "then" in "if it rains today, then the road shall be wet tomorrow" is redundant? I am referring to the logic that using a word would be redundant if the same meaning is conveyed without that word.
But I see that, when the antecedent clause gets too long, the occurrence of "then" serves to mark the distinction between the two clauses.
Except in that sense, can we not say that the usage "if ... then" is redundant in English, and should be replaced by "if ..." especially if the clauses are short enough?
Ah, except in programming languages, of course.