0
Q: Why did you write that?

A: I wrote it to see if if we explain our logic clearly we can come to an agreement ...

I'm worried about the "if if" part of the sentence. It doesn't read right to me without the double if, but I have never seen it before.

Is it grammatically correct (and why or why not)?

  • 1
    How do you parse that sentence? I suspect it needs a couple of commas to set off a parenthetical phrase. – Andrew Leach Oct 22 '15 at 15:17
  • 1
    I think the first if should be replaced by whether. – Peter Shor Oct 22 '15 at 15:18
  • 4
    ... which, incidentally, would also demonstrate why the sentence is perfectly grammatical to begin with. – RegDwigнt Oct 22 '15 at 15:24
  • 1
    And really it should not be just changed in that one place, but rearranged altogether. "I wrote it to see whether we can come to an agreement if we explain our logic clearly". That's why you see no double ifs in the wild: people will reword and rearrange to avoid the confusion. All the double ifs in COCA are either transcription errors ("what it if's an app") or stutter ("what if... if... if..."). – RegDwigнt Oct 22 '15 at 15:29
  • 1
    @RegDwigнt Yes I agree the original was perfectly grammatical, but needed a pair of commas around ...if we explain our logic clearly... . But as you rightly say, it would benefit from being rearranged. – WS2 Oct 22 '15 at 15:39
1

I wrote it to see whether, if we explain our logic clearly, we can come to an agreement ....

The parenthetical phrase if we explain our logic clearly should be set off with a comma pair.

Also, if you want to be pedantic (and I do), the if in the main clause would more properly be a whether. To quote Grammar Girl,

Although in informal writing and speech the two words are often used interchangeably, in formal writing, such as in technical writing at work, it's a good idea to make a distinction between them because the meaning can sometimes be different depending on which word you use. The formal rule is to use if when you have a conditional sentence and whether when you are showing that two alternatives are possible.

1

"I wrote it to see if we can come to an agreement if we explain our logic clearly."

"I wrote it to see if, explaining our logic clearly, we can come to an agreement."

Maybe there are other ways to write it too but these are some ways I think it can be written, in addition to what TRiG already posted.

0

You can write it as :

I wrote it to see if we can come to an agreement by explaining our logic clearly.

Or

I wanted to know whether we can come to an agreement by explaining our logic clearly.

Or

I assumed that by explaining our logic clearly, we may come to an agreement.So I wrote it.

Even better if you use we might/we may instead of we can.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.