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I guess I am aware of the concept of conditionals.

Conditional sentences consider imagined or uncertain situations and the possible results of these situations.

If is the most commonly used word to construct a conditional.

If + subject + present simple, subject + modal(future) + Verb(base)

If a lawyer reads the document, we will see if we’ve missed anything important.

sometime, when could also do the job.

if ice melts it becomes water

when ice melts it becomes water

A few minutes ago, I saw an use with "where"

Where there is more than one verb, mid position means after the first auxiliary verb or after a modal verb

Given it comes from Cambridge Dictionary, I believe it is almost certainly idiomatic.

The question is when would people use "where" to construct a conditional? In other words, in what kind of situations, people would use "where" to construct a conditional? Could someone please give a hint? Thanks in advance.

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Where is used here with the meaning of In situations that....

Similarly when could be used, but emphasizing the situation's time occurrence instead of its location occurrence (as does where).


Here comes some examples:

Where two eat, three eat (popular saying)

When we get home, the dog always barks laudy

Where there's smoke, there's fire (popular saying)

When she looks at me, I get embarrassed


Observe there is more conditional sentence cases than just the imagined situations you defined in the beginning of your sentence. For this where and when examples, the in case of or as long as cases fit better

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  • Thank you. I am still confused about that. I guess other sign words (would I call them this?), e.g. "if", "when", "as long as", "in case of" could also express the meaning of In situations that..., so the meaning is not a characteristic to distinguish them, right? – WXJ96163 Mar 24 at 1:40
  • I guess there are two possibilities when talking about the usage of a group of words. Possibility#1: the words in that group are interchangeable; Possibility#2: they are not. When talking about Possibility#2, there would be some characteristics to distinguish what situation is suitable to which word. Is my understanding right? – WXJ96163 Mar 24 at 1:44
  • Anyway, your examples give me lots of helpful information. Thank you, that's very kind of you. – WXJ96163 Mar 24 at 1:54

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