"Provided That" or "Providing That"?

by Craig Shrives

Should I Write "Provided That" or "Providing That"?

"Provided that" and "providing that" are interchangeable when used to mean "on condition that." However, "provided that" is strongly preferred over "providing that" in the US and the UK.

Here are some 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.
  • (This is acceptable but is less common.)
  • 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.
provided or providing
"Provided" is more popular than "providing." [evidence]

"Provided That" or Just "Provided"?

The word "that" can be omitted from both "provided that" and "providing that." For example:
  • Provided the weather is fine, we'll have a picnic on Saturday.
  • Providing the weather is fine, we'll have a picnic on Saturday.
Removing "that" is a good practice. Removing any word that doesn't add anything to your sentence is a good practice!

"Provided" Is More Formal Than "Providing"

Most writers maintain that "provided" is preferable to "providing" as a conjunction meaning "on condition that." Therefore, it is safer to choose "provided" or "provided that" in formal writing.

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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? cannot or can not? who's or whose? What are conjunctions? List of easily confused words

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