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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:



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Intermediate level language point

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

"if" + "not": unless:


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