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Zero Conditional

Practice using the zero conditional to talk about facts and things that are generally true.

Zero conditional is used when you want to talk about scientific facts, truths,

habits, or instructions. You can use ‘if’ or’ when’ followed by the present simple.


How can you make the zero conditional

How can you use the zero conditional

Practice making the zero conditional

Download this explanation as a PDF

How do you make the zero conditional?

You can make the first conditional by using 'if' or 'when' followed by the present simple and then the present simple.

For example

"If you don't give plants water, they die."

More Examples

  • If you mix red and blue, you get purple.

  • When I am not at my desk, my secretary answers the calls.

  • If I'm hot, I wear sandals.

Sentence structure

You can put the condition or the result first in a zero conditional statement.

When the result is first, you don’t need a comma (,).

When there’s a sale, I usually go to the shops.

condition + result

I usually go to the shops when there’s a sale.

result + condition

How can you use the zero conditional?

Truths, Facts, Habits

Talk about things that are generally true with the zero conditional.

For example
  • My kids get angry when they are hungry.

  • I usually take a shower when I get home from work.

  • My colleague goes out to lunch if she has meetings with clients.

  • If a child at the preschool is sick, my daughter usually gets sick too.

Giving Instructions

Zero conditional is often used to give instructions with the result using the imperative.

condition + imperative

  • If I don't answer my messages, call me.

  • If you see apples at the store, buy some.

  • Ask me if you’re not sure about how the machine works.

Practice making the zero conditional

Online meeting

it's time to practice SPEAKING

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