Learn English Grammar: Zero Conditional

{“en”:”Hello. We’re doing the zero conditional today. It’s a useful grammatical structure in English. Perhaps it’s used for, particularly to those who are rules-based people, who like knowing that A is going to result in B. My little nephew is like this. Hi, Alex. So, we’re doing the zero conditional. And this is about something that is generally true, like a scientific fact. If I press the toilet button, it flushes. Okay? “If”, condition, result. “If I do”, “If I play, this happens.” So this is in present simple, and the result also in the present simple. “If you heat ice, it melts.” So it’s like a scientific fact, it’s like something… This always happens in this same way. The condition always has the same result. Now, the result, this bit here, it can also be in the imperative rather than the present simple. So, I’ve put a little example here: “If you do…” “If you visit Devon,” -a place in the southwest of England-“go to Chagford.” Where I was born.

Okay? It’s a great place. So, it’s like “go to”, it’s an imperative. I’m telling you to do that. So this is a structure of command. “If you arrive late to my class again, you”, and then I’m going to need to… “You will have to go to the head master.” Okay? It’s the condition equals the result. It’s always the same. So if you’re late, you have to go to the head master. Okay? Condition, result, always the same relationship between the two. Now, we can have a couple of different, alternative options here. Instead of “if” we could also use “when” or “unless”.

I’ve written that unless… You know when… When’s talking about time, obviously. But “unless” means kind of if not, followed by the condition and result. Condition always in the present. So: “Unless if not he proposes”, obviously that’s quite weird, formal English. The translation would be something like… Or the simplification: “If he does not propose to marry you,”-to propose to marry you. Would you like to marry me?- “refuse to go on holiday with him again.” Okay? So: “refuse to go”, there you’ve got your imperative.

Okay? Now, we can change the order and put the result before the condition, and throw in a bit of “if” and “when” and “unless” right there in the middle just to mix things up, mix the bowl up. So, the result here is at the beginning. “The boss, my leader, the person who is in charge is angry” -again, notice present tense-“when I dance on my table.” Obviously, “when” could also be replaced by “if” there. “…if I dance on my table”. So, “when” would imply that I maybe dance on my table quite a lot. But “if”, I’m so scared of my boss that I don’t want to dance on my table. And “unless” would change it, so you’d have to have probably a different condition there. “The boss is angry unless I stay seated.” Okay, so let’s just have another quick recap. Something that’s generally true, like a scientific fact, like: “If I cross the road without looking, I get knocked over.” Sorry, that’s what the traffic’s like in London.

Pay attention. Look to your left, look to your right before it’s safe to go. “If”, condition, result. Present simple, present simple unless we’re using the imperative. “You will go to Chagford if you visit Devon.” And then we can mix in a bit of “when” and “unless”, meaning changing the positive, negative affirmation, so: “Unless he proposes to marry you,” blah, blah, blah, this will be the result. This will always be the result unless you do this. And then you can also have the result here and the condition here. The boss is angry if you don’t do the quiz right now and subscribe to my YouTube channel, and check out Exquisite English. Good night. God bless. See ya next time.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London