How To Use Zero Conditional And First Conditional Clauses In English: Quiz + Audio Lesson | DailyStep English

How To Use Zero Conditional And First Conditional Clauses In English: Quiz + Audio Lesson

What is the correct way to use Zero Conditional and First Conditional clauses in English?

Zero and First ConditionalHello, I'm Jane at DailyStep English. This free quiz and lesson will help you learn how to use First and Zero Conditional clauses correctly. Even advanced learners sometimes make mistakes to check your understanding here. 

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CONDITIONAL SENTENCES

by Jane Lawson at DailyStep.com

 

Conditional sentences have a main clause and a conditional clause. There are five types of conditional sentences in English. Today we are going to look in detail at two of these types: Zero Conditional and First Conditional.

ZERO CONDITIONAL

We use this for scientific facts and for general truths, in other words, for things which are always true. The structure is:

 

CONDITION CLAUSE

MAIN CLAUSE

If + present tense

If you heat ice,

present simple

it melts.


If he is reading,


he wears glasses.



FIRST CONDITIONAL

We use this to express things that are possible in the future. The structure is:

CONDITION CLAUSE

MAIN CLAUSE

If + present tense

If you hurry,

future simple

you will catch the train.


Unless you hurry,


you will miss the train.



Conditional clauses often start with the conjunction IF, but conditionals can also start with other conjunctions, such as AS LONG AS  or UNLESS. Here are some examples:

 

CONDITION  CLAUSE

MAIN CLAUSE



If + present tense

If it is warm,

Provided that it is warm,

Provided it is warm,

Providing it is warm,

As long as it is warm,

So long as it is warm,

Unless it is cold,



zero conditional:
present simple
I go for a walk every day.




first conditional:
future simple

I will go for a walk tomorrow.



This last conjunction,  UNLESS means ‘IF… NOT’ so it has a negative meaning.

In Zero Conditionals only, we can also use WHEN as a conjunction. So we can say:


When it is warm, I go for a walk every day.
When you heat ice, it melts.

 

So, what is the difference between these conjunctions?

    • PROVIDED, PROVIDED THAT and PROVIDING are more formal. They are often used in Business, Academic and Legal English.

    • AS LONG AS and SO LONG AS  are more emphatic. So they emphasise the condition, and these sentences sound stronger.

    • WHEN and IF are more general.

Now, make your own sentences like these, and make sure they are true to your own life as this will help you to remember them better. You can learn to speak, write and understand conditional sentences in DailyStep Audio Lessons, from Levels 3 to 5. In my next blog on DailyStep English, I will cover SECOND and THIRD  CONDITIONALS.

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How to use zero and first conditionals in English