What is the difference between "if" and "as soon as"?

Example: "I will come if I can" and "I will come as soon as I can"

Is it both correct?

1 Answer 1


Both are grammatical and normal, but they have different meanings.

If has no implication of time or urgency. It is a simple conditional: If I can come, I will, but not necessarily immediately after I become available.

As soon as is about time; but it is not conditional. I will come as soon as I can means "When I am available to come, I will do so immediately". If we both know that if it gets too late, there will be no point in my coming, then it has an implication of "if" as well; but that is in the circumstances, not in the words.

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