if so? if ever? if any?

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  • Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    "If so" follows a yes/no question, meaning "if the answer is yes..." Notice that the speaker didn't wait for the yes or no answer.
    "If so" introduces a sentence—which can be interrogative, as in your example ("If so, why?"), declarative ("If so, you should get some sleep"), or imperative ("If so, go take a rest.")

    "If any" follows a "what" question, and "if ever" follows a "when" question.
    "What French books do you have, if any?"—here, the "if any" seems like an attempt to combine two questions: "Do you have any French books?" and "If so, which ones are they?"
    "When do you go to the movies, if ever?" = "Do you ever go to the movies? If so, when?"
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