The Zero Conditional in English Grammar

There are five conditional clauses or IF Clauses in English Grammar.

The first one is called the Zero Conditional

The Zero Conditional clause tells us about something that is REAL, TRUE, FACT is NOW and ALWAYS TRUE.

The Structure for this clause is: IF/WHEN + Present Simple + Present Simple.

e.g. If it rains, you get wet.

If it rains – Present Simple. You get wet – Present Simple

  • When water is 100 degrees, it boils.
  • If you don’t listen to Ajarn Ken, you fail the exam
  • What do you go, when you have a holiday?

Notice that for this conditional, we can use WHEN or IF. This is because we use IF if the sentence has some doubt or is perhaps 50/50. If can also make the sentence a little softer when we speak.

WHEN, on the other hand we use when there is a more definite situation, If it a FACT. WE use it when the sentence is more 100% and there is no doubt.

So for the structure of the positive sentence is: When/IF + subject + present simple, subject + present simple.

  • Here are some more examples:
  • When the body is cold, it starts to shiver
  • Your body starts to shiver when it is cold
  • If the days starts good then it just gets better and better
  • I feel really silly, when I forget to bring my homework

Remember for the negative sentences, we use Don't + Verb Infinitive. As an example:

  • When I don't go to bed early, it is certain I get up late
  • If I don't go to bed early, I don't get up early.
  • When she doesn't listen to the instructions, she doesn't know what to do.

For questions, the structure is Wh Question + do/does (don't/doesn't) + subject + verb infinitive, if/when + subject + Present Simple. For example:

  • Where do you like to go, when you go on holiday.
  • What does she like to eat, when she goes to a restaurant
  • Why do you do that, when it doesn't make the situation better?
  • If it doesn't make the situation better, why do you do it?
  • When you go on holiday, where do you prefer to go?

Hope this has made things a little clearer for you. If you have any questions, then please let me know!