UNIT 111. In case

Canada-13 grammar

A

Study this example situation:
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Your car should have a spare tire because it is possible you will have a flat tire.

Your car should have a spare tire in case you have a flat tire.

In case you have a flat tire = because it is possible you will have a flat tire.
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Some more examples of in case:
– I’ll leave my cell phone on in case Jane calls. (= because it is possible she will call)
– I’ll draw a map for you in case you can’t find our house. (= because it is possible you won’t be able to find it)
– I’ll remind them about the meeting in case they’ve forgotten. (= because it is possible they have forgotten)

We use just in case for a smaller possibility:
– I don’t think it will rain but I’ll take an umbrella just in case. (= just in case it rain)

Do not use will after in case. Use a present tense for the future (see Unit 24):
– I’ll leave my phone on in case Jane calls. (not in case Jane will call)

B

In case is not the same as if. We use in case to say why somebody does (or doesn’t do) something.
You do something now in case something happens late.

Compare:
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in case

  • We’ll buy some more food in case Tom comes.
    (= Maybe Tom will come; we’ll buy some more food now, whether he comes or not; then we’ll already have the food if he comes.)
  • I’ll give you my phone number in case you need to contact me.
  • You should register your bike in case it is stolen.

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if

  • We’ll buy some more food if Tom comes.
    (= Maybe Tom will come; if he comes, we’ll buy some more food; if he doesn’t come, we won’t buy any more food.)
  • You can call me at the hotel if you need to contact me.
  • You should inform the police if your bike in stolen.

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C

You can use in case + past to say why somebody did something:
– I left my phone on in case Jane called.
(= because it was possible that Jane would call)
– I drew a map for Sarah in case she couldn’t find the house.
– We rang the doorbell again in case they hadn’t heard it the first time.

D

In case of is not the same as in case. In case of … = if there is … (especially on sings, etc.):
– In case of fire, please leave the building as quickly as possible. (= if there is a fire)
– In case of emergency, call this number. (= if there is an emergency)

grammar
kaki en talk ~英語が苦手な日本人エンジニアが書く 英語の日記~ (解説付き)

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