If It Weren’t For | Idiomatic Expressions With If
This expression is used for suggesting that a particular description fits someone or something.
- My husband is a real movie buff if ever there was one. He knows almost everything about movies and movie stars.
- If ever a teacher deserved this award, Mrs. Betty is the one. (= Mrs. Betty is the most deserving candidate for this award.)
If it were not for
This expression is used to suggest that one particular person or situation changes everything.
- If it weren’t for my kids, I wouldn’t have anything to hope for.
- If it weren’t for the two coast guards, she would probably have drowned. (= The coast guards changed the situation. If they weren’t there, she would probably have drowned.)
To talk about the past we use, if it had not been for.
- If it hadn’t been for your help, I don’t know how I’d have coped.
If I were you
This structure is used when giving someone advice.
- If I were you, I wouldn’t miss that opportunity. (This is an indirect way of suggesting that the listener shouldn’t miss that opportunity.)
- If I were you, I wouldn’t waste 1000 bucks on that car.
This structure is used to say that we would like things to be different. Note the use of past tense after if only.
- If only we were rich.
- If only I spoke better English.
- If only she knew how much I love her.
This structure is used for asking what would happen in a particular situation.
- What if she didn’t like the proposal?
- What if we just cancel the trip?