what if

See also: what-if

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Dates back at least to Old English hwæt ġif, of the same meaning.

AdverbEdit

what if (not comparable)

  1. Used to introduce a suggestion or proposal for a future event.
    What if we arrange it for 9:00 instead of 10:00?
  2. Used to introduce a speculation about a future event.
    What if we could learn to get along? What would happen then?
  3. Used to introduce a speculation about a past event. Often the basis for counterfactual historical interpretations.
    What if Abraham Lincoln had not been assassinated? How might the Reconstruction of the Southern States have been handled?

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