Newsletter 024

The Zero Conditional

Many people, when discussing this topic, don’t include the Zero Conditional into regular conditionals. Why? Well, probably because of its limited usage and the fact that we don’t really put any real conditions when constructing sentences with them.

  • When I have my English class, Sreten talks about grammar. (impossible!)
  • If I don’t attend my English class, Sreten still talks about grammar. (no way!)
  • As soon as I come home from work, I diligently open my English workbook and do my homework. (pinky-swear!)

The First Conditional

In comparison with the Zero Conditional, the First Conditional does not talk about the present but about the future events — one or more of them, single or recurring ones. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at the following examples:

  • When I have my English class (tomorrow), Sreten will talk about grammar.
  • If I don’t attend my English class (in the future), Sreten will still talk about grammar.
  • As soon as I come home (after work), I will diligently open my English workbook and do my homework. (pinky-swear again!)
  • If Sreten will talk about grammar, I will not join the class. (this is an incorrect sentence, as we cannot use IF/WHEN/etc. + WILL).
  • If Sreten is going to talk about grammar, I will/can/etc. not join the class (a correct sentence, but Sreten will give you the look)
  • If Sreten talks about grammar, I will not join the class. (this is a correct sentence, although one should not skip Sreten’s classes)
  • If Sreten talks about grammar, I can skip a class. (a correct sentence, but skipping should not be an option)
  • If Sreten can talk about grammar, I can skip a class! (a correct sentence and a valid point, too)
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