Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Grammar: Zero and First Conditionals

It is always good to receive some good questions to open up a new entry. This time, thanks to Bo Bo for asking me a question on the conditionals.

Generally speaking, there are 5 types of conditionals, namely, Zero, First, Second, Third and Mixed Conditionals.

Conditionals sentence often comes with the word "if" because this sets the "condition".

Let's take a look at the first example.

Zero Conditional
The Truth or the Facts
[ If (present simple), (present simple) ]
Condition Result

  1. If one heats ice, it melts.
  2. If one doesn't eat for a day, they feel hungry.

Time Concern: Anytime
Chances for condition to have the same result: Always

Now, when you use the Zero Conditional, please follow the format above. Alternatively, one can also write
[(present simple) if (present simple)]
Result Condition
  1. Ice melts if one heats it.
  2. One feels hungry if they don't eat for a day.

First Conditional
Very High Possibility, but not perfect
[ If (present simple), (will + infinitive) ]
Condition Result

  1. Last minute into the football match! If Liverpool don't score a goal, they will lose!
  2. If you continue spending so much money, you will go bankrupt very soon!
Time Concern: From Now to Future
Chances for condition to happen: Very High, but not 100% (because it is not a fact)

Alternatively, you can use

[(will + infinitive) if (present simple)]
Result Condition
  1. Last minute into the football match! Liverpool will lose if they don't score a goal!
  2. You will go bankrupt very soon if Iyou continue spending so much money.

Whether the condition will have a very high possibility of happening or not, only the author will know, but once this conditional has been used, you understand what the author means.

Don't you?

Welcome your questions.