There are four types of conditional in English. If you study each one at a time, it is much easier to learn. Did you realise that I just used the 0 (zero) conditional?
Most native English speakers make mistakes when using the conditional form, even in their own language. So I’m splitting up the 4 parts of the conditional to keep it nice and simple. Today we’re taking a look at the 0 (zero) conditional.
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Uses of the 0 (zero) conditional:
This conditional is also called the real or factual conditional, as it used to talk about concrete facts or something that is always true. We use this form if there is a fixed connection between the two events in the sentence.
When talking about facts, daily routines, habits, rules and general truths, we use the zero conditional. (Oooh! Another sentence in the 0 conditional!).
How to form the 0 (zero) conditional:
It’s REALLY easy:
If + present tense, present simple
Some example sentences:
If you don’t drink water often, you dehydrate.
Ice melts if you heat it.
If I’m tired, I go to bed early.
If I don’t eat a big breakfast, I’m hungry all day.
If I drink alcohol, I never drive.
I usually walk to work. If I’m late, I get the metro.
We can also use modal verbs in the result clause:
If you leave for work early, you can always find a parking space.
You must study hard if you want to go to a good university.
The imperative can be used in the result clause too:
If you drink, don’t drive!
If you’re hungry, eat something!
When can replace if:
When I drink alcohol, I never drive.
I’m always happy when I see my family.
We can use unless instead of if not:
I can’t relax unless I finish my work.
[I can’t relax if I don’t finish my work.]
That’s all for today! Next time we’ll look at the FIRST CONDITIONAL.