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Zero Conditional

Zero Conditional



Zero Conditional Structure and Uses

The zero conditional or real conditional describes true things. We describe a real situation using the zero conditional or a very probable situation in the present or future. We can also use zero conditional to talk about rules, habits, universal truth, and instruction. But every sentence declaring a fact is not a conditional sentence. A conditional sentence must have two clauses, the if-clause/conditional clause and the main/result clause.  

Structure of the Zero Conditional 

The zero conditional is formed using the present simple tense both in the if and the main clause.

If + Subject + Present Tense, Subject + Present Tense.

We can also invert this structure by placing the main clause first. In this case, we don’t put a comma between the two clauses.

Subject + Present simple If + Subject Present Simple.

We can replace ‘if’ with ‘when’ in a situation where we are sure the action happens. 

Examples of Zero Conditional

  • If we boil water, it becomes steam. (Universal truth)
  • If we drop something, it falls. (Always true: Anything comes back down every time we drop it.)
  • If she gets up early, she always walks. (This statement is generally true: She walks every time she gets up early.)
  • If you are learning conditional sentences, you will find this article helpful.
  • If it’s cold, I wear a jacket.
  • When we put a stone in water, it sinks.
  • This thing floats when you put it in water.
  • If she loves him, then tell him.
  • If they arrive late to the class, the teacher doesn’t let them sit in the class.  
  • If the boy squawks, everyone in the street hears him.
  • When I cut an onion, it makes me cry.
  • Plants die If you don’t water them.
  • Look for him on the second floor if you reach there late.
  • Does the dog bark when you throw a stone on it?
  • When the baby is happy, she smiles.
  • Chlorine kills bacteria if we put it in water.
  • This paper makes a lot of some if we burn it.
  • That building looks green when the sunshine on it.
  • If we add three and three, we get six.

Zero Conditional Negative

The zero conditional is made negative by inserting don’t/does, not after the subject. 

  • It doesn’t rain if the weather doesn’t get cold.
  • Don’t drive a bike if you are under 18.
  • He gets angry if his son doesn’t come early at night.
  • Don’t talk on your phone If you drive a car.
  • If we don’t keep children away from the fire, they burn themselves.
  • If you don’t understand these works, look for them in your dictionary.
  • Unless the temperature falls below 0o C, the water turns into ice.
  • We don’t get warm if the sun doesn’t shine.
  • The manager does not let us go home early if we don’t work hard for some hours.
  • Unless it rains, the ground doesn’t get wet.
  • This glass doesn’t break if you drop it.
  • Plants don’t grow well if they don’t get enough water.
  • I don’t walk much if it rains every day.

Conditional with Imperatives 

An imperative sentence can be used in the result clause of a conditional sentence. A hypothetical situation describes in the if-clause, and the imperative in the main clause describes the suggested action that someone should take if that hypothetical situation happens.

Examples
  • If you’re cold, put on a blanket.
  • If you feel sick, go to the hospital.
  • If they don’t work correctly, call me.
  • If she doesn’t respond, ignore her.
  • Go to bed early if you are tired.
  • Call me if you need more money.
Conditional Sentences Exercises

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