Learn English – difference between “on condition that” and “provided that”

differencessynonyms

Do the terms "provided that" and "on condition that" mean the same? Or is there any difference in usage?

The means will be available provided that the state will allocate its part of financing vs. The means will be available on condition that the state will allocate its part of financing.

Best Answer

provided that has a connotation of assuming that this holds true

on condition that has a connotation of only if this holds true

These Ngrams show that "provided that" is more popular than "on condition that", but when we add the qualifier of only, then "on condition that" becomes more popular.

provided that, on condition that

enter image description here

only provided that,only on condition that

enter image description here

The Corpus of Historical American English shows similar results, with only provided that showing up 7 times, and only on condition that showing up 112 times.

enter image description here

The Corpus of Contemporary American English shows 4 instances vs. 23 instances.


As an example:

You will be payed the bonus provided that the job is completed on time.

You will be payed the bonus on condition that the job is completed on time.

The former leaves open the possibility that some other method will allow the worker to get his bonus, but the latter suggests that ONLY can the worker receive his bonus if he completes his job on time.