Conditional type zero is used when talking about facts, habits, explanations, advices, orders, and general truths. This type of conditional uses the present simple tense to be formed.

🔍 Note: In order to understand conditionals, you need to understand clauses. Learn more about clauses and conditionals.

By now we know that conditionals are constructed in two parts: if clause and main clause. Also, conditional type zero is frequently used to talk about results that will always happen, that is to say, the main clause is always the result of the if clause.

To put things in perspective, let’s see some examples:

  • If it rains, the floor gets wet.

> in this example the main clause “the floor gets wet” is always the result of the if clause “if it rains”.

How to use it

To make a conditional type zero sentence we use the present simple verbs in both of clause and main clause.

  • If + simple present, … simple present.

✏️ Note: the sentence can begin with if clause or a main clause. If you choose to begin the sentence with “if clause”, put a comma between the if clause and the main clause.

  • If + simple present { , } simple present.
  • Simple present + If +simple present.

When to use it

We differentiate between conditional type zero and other conditionals with the following: we use conditional type zero if talking about habits, typical behavior, explanations, guidelines and advices, orders and instructions, also general truth, real world and scientific facts.

Here are some more examples:

  • If you mix yellow and blue, you get green.
  • If you pour oil on water, it floats.
  • If you press the button, the television turns on.
  • If I’m late to breakfast, don’t wait for me.
  • If you have a headache, drink more water.
  • If you want an omelet, you first crack some eggs.
  • You stay up all night if you drink too much.
  • We wake up early if we sleep early.
  • We learn a new language if we are committed, willing and patient.
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