Grammar – Zero conditional

Explanation

When to use zero conditional

We use conditional sentences to talk about a situation and a result.

Zero conditional talks about situation where the result is always true. It is used to talk about facts and rules.

“If water is 100 degrees, it boils.”

This is always true. It is a fact.

“If I eat sushi, I vomit.”

This means the person speaking always vomits when they eat sushi. Perhaps they have an allergy.

“If you get two yellow cards, you get a red card.”

“If a team scores more goals, they win the game.”

These are both rules.

How to make zero conditional

Situation and result

There are two parts to a conditional sentence.

  1. The situation, which contains the word ‘if’.
  2. The result.

We can put the situation before the result, or we can put the result before the situation.

If I eat sushi, I vomit.”

Situation before result.

I vomit if I eat sushi.”

Result before situation.

If we put the situation first, we need a comma between the situation and result. We do not need a comma if we put the result before the situation.

Tense

In zero conditional sentences, the situation and the result use the present simple.

If or when

In zero conditional sentences, you can use ‘when’ instead of ‘if’ and the meaning will be exactly the same.

If I eat sushi, I vomit.

When I eat sushi, I vomit.

My phones turns off if I touch this button.

My phones turns off when I touch this button.

Quiz

Grammar - Zero Conditional

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