1. The zero conditional
In English there are several types of conditionals, one of them is the zero conditional. This type of conditional is used in situations in which if a condition is met, there is always the same result.
If you don't put sun cream on, you get burnt.
If you get a virus, call the IT specialist.
2. The structure of the zero conditional
A conditional is a sentence made up of two clauses. The zero conditional has the following structure:
If + subject + present simple, subject + present simple
The order of the two sentences that make up the conditional structure can be changed. If we start with the If condition, we will separate them with a comma. If we start with the sentence that expresses the result, then we won't put a comma.
If water reaches 100ºC, it boils.
Water boils if it reaches 100ºC.
3. How is the zero conditional used?
- The zero conditional is used to express facts which are always true, such as scientific facts or laws, general truths, etc.You get orange if you mix red and yellow.If you mix red and yellow, the result will always be the same, you will get orange. Therefore, this fact is a general truth.If I eat peanuts, I get ill.Although becoming ill after eating peanuts is not a universal truth, for those who are allergic to them, it is true that whenever they eat peanuts they will get the same result.
- As well as true facts, the zero conditional can also be used to give instructions. In this case we will use an imperative to express the instruction or warning.If you feel sick, go to the doctor.Don't open the door if someone knocks.
In this conditional we can replace if with when without altering the meaning of the sentence.
If you heat ice, it melts.
When you heat ice, it melts.
The zero conditional is a type of conditional that is used to express a cause-effect relationship with facts that are always true (scientific facts and laws, general truths, etc.) or to give instructions.
|IF + PRESENT SIMPLE, + PRESENT SIMPLE|
|True facts: scientific laws, general truths...||If my dog sees the postman, he barks.|
|To give instructions||If it rains, don't go to the playground.|