Mini Russian lessons with Anastasia
            How to say "if" in Russian:
                  если Vs ли

Let’s learn the difference between “если” and “ли”. We can translate both as “if” but in Russian they mean different things.


The word “если” always implies a condition, as in “If there’s good weather, we’ll go to the beach”.

Have a look at this two examples:

  • Если будет хорошая погода, мы пойдём на пляж.
  • Если ты хочешь на пляж, возьми купальник и полотенце.

On the other hand, the word “ли” is an “if” which doesn’t imply any condition. It works as in the sentence “I’m asking if you want to go to the beach”.

Let‘s see two examples:

  • Я не знаю, хорошая ли будет погода.
  • Я спрашиваю, хочешь ли ты на пляж.

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