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Grammar Challenge


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Grammar challenger Jelena from Serbia-Montenegro

Zero Conditional
Conditionals are structures which we use when talking about possible actions and their results. The zero conditional is a form which expresses what always happens if or when a certain action takes place.

In the programme we challenge Jelena from Serbia-Montenegro to make correct sentences using this grammar.


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Find out more

Conditional sentences are usually made up of two parts, a conditional clause and a main clause. The conditional clause is the 'if' part of the sentence and the main clause is the result, what happens.

There are other ways of forming a zero conditional sentence but this is the basic structure we talk about in this programme.

If / when

present simple

present simple
you heat ice,
she's not in,
you don't water plants,
it melts.
her machine takes a message.
they die.

The two clauses can come in any order. In written English if the conditional clause comes first, you put a comma between it and the main clause. You don't use a comma if the main clause comes first. Look carefully and you can see that the previous two sentences contain two examples of the zero conditional!


Download Nuala's grammar explanation and tables (pdf - 23k)

Download this programme (mp3 - 1.8 MB)
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Take the challenge
Now it's your turn to practise the zero conditional. Go to our quiz page on this subject here.

Meet us Useful links Next episode

Nuala and Callum

Flatmates - Zero conditional
Learn It archive - modals and conditionals
Oxford House College*

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In the next programme, we'll taking our first look at the subject of articles.

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