This is from the BBC Earth Robots explore deep ocean, (see:2:13-2:19). In the program, a man tells about a range of different devices used for explorations under sea. One of his sentence is below:

"...And then we have a range of devices, vehicles that have a whole suite, if you will, of depth capabilities."

I wonder why he uses "if you will" instead of saying "....a whole suite of depth capabilities."

Does "if you will" mean "if you want"?

  • 1
    See this definition. Suite is a rather odd word to choose. Jun 18, 2023 at 15:56
  • 1
    @KateBunting, Thanks, I have looked at that definition. I already knew about the expression "if you like" but did not know that "if you like" and "if you will" are the same. Furthermore, now it seems to me that "if you will" is in some way similar to "so to speak".
    – Yunus
    Jun 18, 2023 at 16:09
  • Yes, it is rather similar; the sense is 'that is one name for it/ way to describe it, but it may not be the only one'. Jun 19, 2023 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


In this case, it does not really mean "if you want". M-W defines "if you will" this way:

: if you wish to call it that
| a kind of preoccupation, or obsession if you will
| —Louis Auchincloss

As you note in a comment, in some cases the meaning of "if you will" is similar to that of "if you like".

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