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In Case / In Case Of
- (NG) I will take my umbrella in case rain.
- (OK) I will take my umbrella in case it rains.
- (NG) Water freezes in case the temperature reaches zero degrees Celsius.
- (OK) Water freezes if the temperature reaches zero degrees Celsius.
Grammar words and phrases in context
The weather has been unpredictable lately and, in fact, it has been unusually warm this winter. You never know if it’s going to rain or snow, so I always keep an umbrella with me in case it rains. Of course, the possibility of snow exists, but I’m prepared. In case we have a snowstorm, I keep my boots and a shovel in the closet near the front door of my house.
We use the phrase in case to mean because it is possible. The grammar is in case followed by a subject and verb or in case of followed by a noun.
- The sky is a little dark. I’m going to take my umbrella in case it rains. (This means it’s possible that it will rain.)
- I think Jane will call today or tomorrow. In case she calls while I’m at lunch, please tell her to hold on and then come to the café to get me.
- I put snow tires on my car in case of bad weather.
In Case vs. If
Notice the difference between in case and if. We use in case to talk about what someone will do now because something will happen later. We use if to talk about a situation that might happen later. Compare these two sentences:
- Let’s get the coffee pot set up in case Joe comes. He loves coffee. (This means we will set up the coffee pot now because there is a possibility that Joe will come later.)
- Let’s set up the coffee pot if Joe comes. He loves coffee. (This means if Joe comes, we will set up the coffee pot at that time.)
In Case Of
Finally, we use the phrase in case of when we write a notice, generally to give instructions in the event of an emergency situation.
- In case of fire, use the stairs. Do not use the elevator.
- This is the phone number you should call in case of an emergency.