We use the Zero Conditional to express general truths and facts. We are thinking about a result that is always true for this condition, and an absolute certainty. We are not thinking about the future, past, or present, but only of a simple fact.
The important thing about the zero conditional is that the condition always has the same result.
We use the Present Simple tense to talk about the condition, and the Present Simple tense to talk about the result.
|Present simple||Present simple|
|If||you don’t love,||you can’t live.|
|If||I sleep too late,||I miss my morning class.|
|If||people don’t eat,||they get hungry.|
|If||you drink too much,||do you get a hangover?
|present simple||present simple|
|You can’t live||if||you don’t love.|
|My boss gets angry||if||I am late for work.|
|I am disappointed||if||you don’t pass your exams.|
|Do you go to the doctor||if||you are sick?|
- We can use “when” instead of “if”, for example: “When he comes to town, we go for dinner.”
- We can use “unless” which means “if … not”, for example: “You will be unhappy unless you break up with her” = “You will be unhappy if you do not break up with her.”