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hello,

I would like to know for what it is used present continuos in conditionals. For instance:

If he's coming, tell him what you said to me.

isn't simple present better in this case:

if he comes , tell him what you said to me.

Thanks.
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The two are pretty much the same to most people.

IMO, one could argue that the continuous version brings the potential event of his coming closer to the present, the time becomes more critical, referring to something which should occur relatively shortly, while "if he comes" refers to any general instance of his "coming" in the future.

See:
http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/presentcontinuous.html

Looking forward to other opinions.
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Hi Anon

Your examples were:
1. If he's coming, tell him what you said to me.
vs.
2. If he comes, tell him what you said to me.

There is a significant difference difference between the two sentences in my mind. With added context, there may be other ways to interpret the first sentence, but without any other context this is what I would understand:

1. If he's coming, tell him what you said to me. This suggests the following to me:

-- If it's true that he's planning to come, then tell him what you told me before he comes.

In other words, his being told is dependent on his having a plan to come. The condition is the plan to come.

(What you tell him might have an impact on his plans somehow.)

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2. If he comes, tell him what you said to me. This one suggests the following to me:

-- There is a possibility (but no explicit plan!) that he might come. In the event that he comes, tell him what you told me after he arrives.

In other words, his being told is dependent on his whether he happens to come. The condition is his arrival.
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Comments  
Maybe this can be contrasted with the sentence : when he comes, ... as in this case it is almost sure he is going to come.
 Yankee's reply was promoted to an answer.
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Yankee,

That's the exact same difference I detect.

CJ