Unit 4.1

# Zero Conditional

Syntax

conditional sentence is usually composed by two parts: the if-clause (or conditional clause) that expresses the condition, and the main clause that expresses the consequence of that condition.

We use the zero conditional structure when the result of the condition is always true.

In zero conditional we use the present simple for both parts of the sentence. We can use if or when and there is no change in meaning, as the consequence of the condition is always the same.

The order of the sentences doesn’t change the meaning, therefore there are two ways of forming this expressions:

IF-CLAUSE (condition)(,)MAIN CLAUSE (consequence)
If/When + Present Simple,Present Simple

or

MAIN CLAUSE (consequence)IF-CLAUSE (condition)
Present SimpleIf/When + Present Simple
1. If
• If water reaches 100 degrees, it always boils.
• Water always boils if it reaches 100 degrees.
2. When
• When people don’t drink water for a long time, they die.
• People die when they don’t drink water for a long time.

We use zero conditional to express facts and things that always happen, such as scientific facts. The result of the condition is certain.

1. If is used when we want to say that the condition will happen immediately;
2. When is used when we want to say that the condition will definitely happen sooner or later.

A conditional sentence is composed of two parts: the if-clause (condition), and the main clause (consequence of the condition).

The zero conditional is used to express facts and things that always happen, such as scientific facts, and when the result of a condition is always true.

If = The condition will happen immediately;
When = The condition will definitely happen sooner or later.

The structures are:
If/when + present simple + , + present simple
Present simple + if/when + present simple

For example:
— “If/when you tell me what to buy, I go to the supermarket.” = The first part of the sentence is the condition that make the result, expressed in the second one, possible.
— “I go to the supermarket if/when you tell me what to buy.” = The first part of the sentence is the result of the condition expressed in the second one.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.