if and when, when and if

Either if or when alone is usually enough, but the phrases if and when and when and if are sometimes used to emphasize the uncertainty of a future event.

  • If (If and when) you do reach the mountaintop, be sure to take pictures.
  • Lifeguards are trained to act quickly when and if emergencies occur.
  • When and if they reached the New World, the captives were sold as slaves. (= When they reached the New World, and if they survived the journey …)

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