We use this sentence pattern to talk about an action or result that would be unexpected or surprising if it happened. It is similar to "even though".
"Even though" is used for an action or situation that is currently true or was true in the past.
- Even though I studied, I failed.
- Even though I am studying, I think I will fail.
"Even if" is used for an action or situation that is not real. We are thinking about a possibility. We think if an action is done, the expected or desired result will not happen or we use this to emphasize that something would happen regardless if another thing happened or not.
Even if + possible action/situation, + unexpected result
- Even if he studies hard, he will fail the test because it is too hard for him.
(=If he studies hard, he will still fail the test because it is too hard for him.)
- Even if she helped us, we would have failed.
(Really, we failed. She didn't actually help us, but if she did help us, it would not have mattered. We still would have failed.)
Unexpected result + even if + possible action/situation
- Even if you can only stay for a while, you should come to the party.
- Even if I were poor, I would be happy.
- Even if it is on sale, I will not buy it.
- Even if she is nice to me, I will not be nice to her.
- Even if it is hard, you should practice speaking English a lot.
- Even if you make many mistakes when you speak English, you should try to speak a lot.
- Even if we leave now, we are still going to be late.
- Even if we start now, we will never be able to catch up with them.
- Even if it rains, I think going to the game will be fun.
- Even if she doesn't come, we will have a good time.
- Even if you do not pass the test, you will still pass the class.
Bonus Tips and Points
- We will have fun even if it rains.
- People will come even if the weather is bad.
- You will like snowboarding even if you have never tried it before.
- Mark would be happy even if he lived in the countryside.
- Ben would have won the race even if he had a broken leg!
1. We can use any tense with this kind of sentence.
- Even if people are rude to me, I am nice to them. (Present Tense)
- Even if she didn't come to your birthday, she could have called to wish you a happy birthday. (Past tense)
- Even if it will be rainy, I will go. (Future Tense)
- Even if you haven't seen the first movie, you can understand second. (Present Perfect)
Just like in the present perfect example above, it is very common to mix tenses. One part of the sentence can be in a different tense than the other part.
- Even if he changes his job, he will still be unhappy.
- Even if I had money, I would still live here.
- Even if we don't have a lot of time, we will do our best to come.
2. We can use real conditionals and unreal conditionals after "even if". Remember that real conditionals use present tense verbs and unreal conditionals use past tense or past perfect tense verbs.
Real-World English Conversations
- I would love you even if you were a monster! (Unreal Conditional)
- Even if she had helped us, we would have failed. (Unreal Conditional)
- Even if you don't come, I will still like you. (Real Conditional)
A) I hope Nick comes to the party.
B) He will come even if he is sick. He really wants to see you.
A) That is good, but I hope he is not really sick!
A) I would have bought this car even if I hadn't needed a car.
B) I guess you really love the car.
A) The restaurant is so popular that many people would come even if they did no advertising.
B) I think that is an exaggeration.
A) Even if it is cold, I still go running every morning.
B) Do you run if it is snowing?
A) I do, but I don't run if it is icy.
B) Well, good thing it is summer now. You don't have to worry about that for a while. Study these free English lessons to improve your English speaking. If you learn these common sentence patterns well, then your English speaking will improve greatly and you will be able to have fluent conversations in English in the near future! Study the lessons well, practice using them at home and in real life, and make sure to come back to review the material so you do not forget.