“If applicable” is a phrase that people use a lot in different situations. Because it’s such a popular phrase, it’s worth it for you to learn how it works. This article will explain what “If applicable” means and how you can use it.
“If applicable” is a qualifier phrase that you use to add a condition to a sentence. When planning different things, there are obviously many situations that can happen. You account for this situation by using “if applicable”. It helps you make sure that you are prepared for everything.
People use “if applicable” in documents. In these, the phrase is used to account for specific scenarios. If you see a paragraph that starts with “if applicable”, you can see if it applies to you.
Therefore, you can ignore the information if it’s not actually applicable or relevant to you. In this way, “if applicable” can save you a lot of time.
Here’s an example to show you how to use “if applicable” in a sentence:
- If applicable, make sure that you prepare to wash her daughter’s hair.
In this situation, the woman that is being talked about has a daughter. If that daughter doesn’t come, then it’s not applicable, and you can freely ignore the instruction.
Consider this example as well:
- Only if applicable, I want you to find out his previous jobs and what he did in them.
The person that is being talked about might not have had other jobs. Therefore, this instruction might not be applicable, which is why the phrase is there.
“If applicable” doesn’t mean required. “If applicable” simply stresses the fact that the following information or instructions might not apply in all situations. “If applicable” informs you that there is a chance that the information might not apply.
Whether or not something is required will be made clear by the rest of the information. It might be a paragraph of information. It might also be an instruction to do something.
“If applicable” is a really handy phrase. It points out the fact that you might not be able to do something or to take something into account. Here are some synonym phrases you can use instead of “if applicable”:
- If at all possible
- If you can
- If you’re able to
- If relevant
“If applicable” is a fitting expression for both formal and informal contexts. You’re more likely to encounter this expression in formal contexts. Whether it’s a workplace email, or actual documentation. However, there is nothing preventing you from using it in more casual contexts.
Using it in a casual context, you might sound slightly more formal than anyone else. However, that’s not a huge issue. The key takeaway is that you can use this in any formal context.
The abbreviation for “if applicable” is “IA”. You will find this abbreviation in a lot of legal documents and formal statements. According to the MLA, “IA” is the correct way to abbreviate “if applicable”. Therefore, you will find plenty of official documents that say “IA”.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.