What is the difference between these two sentences?

  • Choose tools that are listed in A if possible

  • Choose tools that are listed in A when possible

I want to know when to use if possible and when to use when possible

  • Would it help to check the definitions of if and when or the meaning of possible?
    – livresque
    Jan 7, 2021 at 2:08
  • John, can you explain the context of the two options? Is it for a game you're developing? This might be more nuanced than it seems. Are you a native English speaker?
    – user372711
    Jan 7, 2021 at 20:16
  • It is about selecting the recommended tools for a specific JavaScript framework. In my case, I am writing a guide to help newcomers and experienced developers alike choose the best tooling for their framework, be it tools for Vue, React or Angular. People reading the guide might be developers who want to start a new project, or add tooling to an existing one. If it is a React project, I want them to choose tools recommended for React. I am not a native English speaker (I am Norwegian).
    – John
    Jan 8, 2021 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


Thanks for your question.

"if possible" means if something is possible

"when possible" means when something is possible

So the difference is when VS if.

"when" leads an adverbial clause(time) and means a specific point of time.

"if" leads a conditional clause(also an adverbial clause) and means "assumption"

For example: When possible, please call me.= when available, please call me.

If possible, please call me.= If available, please call me.

The only difference is "when" vs "if".

You should study the words "if" and "when".

  • Thanks for the examples as well.
    – John
    Jan 7, 2021 at 9:07

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