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provided and providing - the difference

The Quick Answer
The words provided and providing are interchangeable when used to mean on condition that.

Provided and Providing

The words provided and providing are interchangeable when used to mean on condition that.

Examples:
  • Provided that the weather is fine, we'll have a picnic on Saturday.
  • Providing that the weather is fine, we'll have a picnic on Saturday.
  • Tony will attend provided that Sarah is not chairing the meeting.
  • The newspaper did not publish the photographs because they were given by a confidential source who did so provided that we not release them before the elections.

No Need for That

The word that can be omitted.

Examples:
  • Provided the weather is fine, we'll have a picnic on Saturday.
  • Providing the weather is fine, we'll have a picnic on Saturday.
Top Tip

Provided is More Formal

Some writers maintain that provided is preferable to providing as a conjunction meaning on condition that.

Both are acceptable. However, as some of your readers may prefer provided, it is safer to choose this option.