Home Grammar Beginner Zero conditional (if)

Zero conditional (if)

Introduction

We use the zero conditional to describe the result of an action when the result is always or usually the same, for example: Examples

Form

The zero conditional has two clauses:
the conditional clause and the main clause.

Conditional clause

This clause describes the action or condition that makes the main clause true.

We can use "when" or "if": We can use any form of present tense in English in the conditional clause, for example: Main clause

This clause describes the result of the conditional clause. We use the present simple and the imperative:

Order

The order of the clauses does not matter: the meaning is the same.


Practice

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb in brackets:

  • When David is working, he to music. (listen)
     
  • I usually order Chinese food if I home late. (get)
     
  • James and Peter shopping when they are on holiday. (not like)
     
  • If I early for work, the trains are less crowded. (leave)
     

Further practice

Complete the sentences with the correct answer from a, b, c or d:



Check my answers

Intermediate level language point

We can use "unless" as an alternative to "if + not".

"if" + "not": unless:

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