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The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar

The Zero Conditional in English Grammar – The 4 Types of Conditionals in English

by Nov 14, 2019English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar

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The zero 0 conditional

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What is the meaning of the zero (0) conditional in English grammar?

Asked by @ Gris Peña (Community English Student)

The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar

Answered by @ Elo Kasia

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The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar

Modal verbs - The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammare  @ Gris Peña, Thank you for your question.

Modal verbs - The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammare  As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.

 

Modal verbs - The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar

 

What are conditional sentences?

What is a factual conditional (zero 0 conditional)?

What is the difference between the zero 0 conditional and the 1st conditional?

Short quizzes about The zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar

The 4 Types of Conditionals in English
Current Post –  Zero Conditional in English Grammar
First Conditional in English Grammar
Second Conditional in English Grammar
Third Conditional in English Grammar

The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar

What is the meaning of the Zero conditional in English grammar?

 

Modal verbs - The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar Chatsifieds

Daily grammar lesson with Elo Kasia. What is zero conditional (factual conditional)? Practical lesson with an easy explanation and plenty of examples to practice with.

 

The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar  What are conditional sentences?

 

Conditional sentences are used to talk about events and their results. They are made of two parts: a condition and result. The two events are connected, as one event is a condition for the other event to happen.
Depending on how possible (or how likely) it is for an event to happen, we use a different type of conditional.

The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar The four main types of conditional sentences are:

  1. factual conditional (zero 0 conditional)
  2. possible conditional (1st conditional),
  3. present unreal conditional (2nd conditional) and
  4. past unreal conditional (3rd conditional)

 

The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar  What is a factual conditional (zero conditional)?

 

Factual conditional (usually known as zero  0 conditional) is probably the easiest conditional to learn. A conditional sentence is made up of two parts (clauses), the “if clause” and the “main clause”. In the 0 conditional we use the same tense in both clauses.

 

  • If – clause — Main (result) clause
  • If / when / unless + Present Simple — Present Simple

 

 

(NOTE: We can also change the order of clauses and have the main clause first followed by the if clause and also use “when”, or “unless”)   It is used to talk about habits, scientific facts and general truths, if something else happens first.

 

This conditional is used when the result will always happen. So, if water reaches 100 degrees, it always boils. It’s a fact.

 

We use it to talk about things in general, not a particular situation. We can usually replace if” with “when” and the meaning stays the same.

 

The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar Have a look at these examples:

  • If you heat ice, it melts.
  • If you get too cold, you shiver.
  • If people eat too much, they put on weight.
  • You get water if you mix hydrogen and oxygen.
  • You pay higher income taxes when you earn more money.
  • If babies are tired, they cry.
  • When John is out of the office, I take his calls.
  • When you press the button, the doorbell rings.
  • If I am late for work, my boss gets angry.
  • If your husband dies, you become a widow.
  • Unless you keep milk in the fridge, it goes off quickly.
  • Children feel tired at school unless they get proper sleep.
  • If you get angry, you should take a few minutes to compose yourself.
  • You can’t send your children to school when they are sick.

 

The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar  What is the difference between the zero conditional and the 1st conditional?

 

The zero 0 (factual) conditional describes a general situation, something that always happen. We cannot use it to describe a particular, specific situation. If we want to talk about a specific situation, we have to use the 1st conditional.

The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar  Study these examples:

  • If the weather is good at weekends, we usually go to the beach. ( a general habit, something that we usually do whenever the weather is good.)
  • If the weather is good at the weekend, we will go to the beach. (here we describe a future event, a particular situation that is likely to happen at the coming weekend)
  • If it snows, the roads become slippery. (general truth, it always happens whenever it shows)
  • If it snows, the road will become slippery. (a particular situation, it is likely that will snow, in which case the road will become slippery)
  • If you mix white and red, you get pink. (fact)
  • If you mix white and red, you will get pink. (particular situation, future result of an action, for example, instructions given to a child who is painting at the moment)
  • If I don’t know a word, I look it up in a dictionary. (habit, I always do that)
  • If I don’t know a word, I will look it up in a dictionary. (particular situation, you are reading a book, or doing an exercise; you decide that every time you see a word you don’t know you will look it up)
  • If I study hard, I always get good marks. (general habit)
  • If I study hard, I will get good marks. (particular situation, before a test, you make a decision to study hard)

 

An important rule to remember is that the zero conditional refers to general situations, not specific ones and 1st conditional describes particular situations which are likely to happen in (usually) the near future.

 

In order to practise the zero 0 conditional, make sentences about things around you and everyday phenomena, such as what happens if something else happens. It is a very good way to practise and achieve fluency.

 

Make sure you follow our *TT exercises which will help you become a confident speaker.

 

Check my other articles here: All English Time Ask Elo – Learning Articles

 

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The Zero 0 Conditional in English Grammar

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