Can you tell me which word is equivalent to providing in this sentence below, if or in case?

The deposit is refundable when you leave, providing you haven't damaged anything.

  • 2
    @ Truong Ha: I remove "which" from before "is refundable", because what you had wasn't a sentence - it was just a noun phrase. Commented May 30, 2013 at 21:43
  • @FumbleFingers actually it was a longer sentence and I just copied the clause of it. Anyway, thanks.
    – Truong Ha
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 2:25

3 Answers 3


In OP's context, providing is equivalent to if (it can validly be replaced by if, but not by in case).

If some statement S depends on the hypothetical scenario X being true (or false, as in not X or !X)...

S [is true/will happen] if X
S providing X
S so long as X
S as long as X
S unless (!X)

Note that OP's "hypothetical" is already negated (you have not damaged anything). If we remove the negation, it becomes !X, so an equivalent to OP's statement would be...

The deposit is refundable when you leave, unless you have damaged anything.

If some action A is only being taken to avoid the possibility of X being true (or to deal with issues that will only arise if X is in fact true)...

A lest X
A in case X

For example,...

Don't damage anything, lest you lose your deposit.
We ask for a deposit in case you damage anything.


In this sentence, the word providing means "on the condition." In other words, if you haven't damaged anything at the end of the lease, you will receive your security deposit back.


In this context, I would use the word assuming.

"The deposit is refundable, assuming that you have not damaged anything.

  • how about admitting? It seems to me this word carries a good contrast here, more than assuming.
    – user114
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 22:42
  • 1
    @Carlo_R.: Either is fine. The difference is largely a matter of taste.
    – Tom Au
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 22:44

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