Element USE: 'IF' CLAUSE + IMPERATIVE, HEDGING
SuperCat CLAUSES
SubCat conditional
Lexical Range N/A
Level A2
Cando Can use an 'if-' clause ('if you want', 'like', 'prefer') to soften the directness of imperatives, offers or suggestions.
Corrected Learner Example Bring some films if you want. (Spain; A2 WAYSTAGE; 2009; Spanish - European; Pass)

Call me if you like. (Spain; A2 WAYSTAGE; 2010; Spanish - European; Pass)

Please, come here wearing a white T-shirt and a skirt, or shorts if you prefer. (Brazil; A2 WAYSTAGE; 2008; Portuguese; Pass)

If you want I can help you with the music. (Spain; A2 WAYSTAGE; 2005; Spanish - European; Pass)

If you like, you could bring some drinks. (Portugal; A2 WAYSTAGE; 2009; Portuguese; Pass)

We can go by bus or if you prefer we can go in my car. (Spain; A2 WAYSTAGE; 2008; Spanish - European; Pass)
Uncorrected Learner Example
Comments In these cases, the 'if' clause doesn't need to be there. It serves to soften the imperative. Note on punctuation: many grammar books stress that when the 'if' clause precedes the main clause, it must use a comma. We cannot establish a consistent competency for this (and punctuation in general). It seems too idiosyncratic. L1 can be a skewing factor.

Cambridge University Press