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My understanding of how to use 'if for no other reason to do' is as follows:

You'll also want to make your house look presentable, if for no other reason than to jack up your asking price. ([unspoken] and to make more profit than without house cleaning etc.)

(.....1.....) (2 if for no other reason than to) (.....3.....). (4)

  1. an initial action: make you house look presentable
  2. if for no other reason than to
  3. one (or some) of the benefits from the initial action:jack up your asking price
  4. other benefits which remain unspoken: and to make more profit than without house cleaning etc.

Now, would you be so kind as to check to see if I have the gist of how to use the phrase by looking into my rendition below?

The Army set up all our computers so quickly at the temporary base in the jungle, if for no other reason to know we could communicate with the rest of the world. ([unspoken] and write to our family and girlfriends)

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Your rendition is not quite correct

if for no other reason than to know we could communicate with the rest of the world.

Not sure about the unspoken bit, it's probably because they wanted to be in communication and get updates from the jungle base.

  • Peter, thanks. Yes, that was just my oversight. With 'than' does it sound idiomatic? Also, if you read the sentence without the rear brackets with the unspoken benefit, you don't feel any connotation of there being more benefit? People say there counterpart 'The Army set up all our computers so quickly at the temporary base in the jungle, if only to know we could communicate with the rest of the world' leaves you with unspoken benefit, such as 'to write to our family and girlfriends.' – Sssamy May 29 '17 at 10:25
  • Maybe I should have added this preceding part. 'In the middle of nowhere, all we could see was arid yellowish terrain. The power got down quite frequently. The camp became pitch dark every once in a while at night. The temperature hiked up to over 110 F around two in the daytime, and dropped to 25 F before dawn. Despite all that,' ... I wonder if there has to be the unspoken benefit with 'if only to' and doesn't have to be with 'if for no other reason than to.' – Sssamy May 29 '17 at 10:30

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