Zero Conditional Structure

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Zero Conditional Structure

Use the simple present to form both parts of your sentences. Here’s the structure:

 If + Simple Present, + Simple Present,modals

Example.

• If you exercise, you feel better.

• You feel better if you exercise

Both parts use a simple present structure. It would be the same with the third person:

• When she exercises, she feels better.

• She feels better when she exercises

Notice you can also use “when” at the beginning. Here are some more examples.

More Example Sentences:

• If you heat ice, it melts.

• Ice melts if you heat it.

• If I go to bed late, I wake up late.

• You pay higher income taxes when you earn more money.

• When Dave works in the morning, he goes to bed early.

Negative

Negatives use do not, does not, am not, is not, or are not, just like the simple present.

• If you do not exercise, you gain weight.

• You need a pen when you take the test.

• If I don’t study, I don’t do well on tests.

• If you are not on time, you lose one mark.

Questions

Form questions just like you do in the simple present, by reversing the order.

• Does ice melt if you heat it?

• When do you wake up if you have to work?

• If you have to work, when do you wake up?

Zero Conditional Uses

You normally see four main uses for the zero conditional. Here they are:

1. Rules

• If you take your cell phone into class, it must be turned off.

• If you drink alcohol, don’t drive.

• Do not use a calculator when you write the test.

1. Scientific Facts and General Truths

• If you heat water to 100 degrees Celsius, it boils.

• If you drop something, it falls.

• When you combine oil and water, they do not mix.

1. Cause and Effect

• If you push the button, the volume increases.

• If you close the door, it locks automatically.

• The computer turns off when you disconnect the battery.

1. Routine

• I wear my boots when I work.

• She uses glasses when she drives.

• When I cook, I use olive oil.