Exercise 1

Complete the sentences with a time expression from the list.

after, as soon as, before, if, in case (x2), unless, until, when

 0. Example: I’ll call you as soon as I get back.

1I will lock the door I go to bed.

2They're taking umbrellas it rains.

3Sarah will work from home tomorrow her boss needs her in the office.

4I'll call you I land in Zurich.

5Do you want to grab something to eat the film? It's a long film and we'll be hungry when we get out of the cinema.

6I'll make a cake I have time.

7We'll take sandwiches we get hungry.

8They'll be in the park it gets dark.


 

 

Zero conditional – grammar chart

 
Zero conditional
 
We use the zero conditional to talk about general truths or results that always happen if a condition is present. We are talking in general, not about one particular situation.

  • If the milk smells bad, I don’t drink it.
  • If water reaches 100 degrees, it boils
  • If I’ve drunk, I never drive
  • If people are talking all the time, I can’t concentrate

We can put the main clause at the beginning. Then we don’t use a comma between the two clauses.

  • I never go to bed late if I have to get up early. 

We can usually replace the if in this conditional with when without changing the meaning.

  • Dogs can attack you when you are scared. 
  • When the weather is bad, people don’t go shopping. 

 

First conditional – grammar chart

 
First conditional
 
The first conditional is used to talk about things that might happen in the future if a condition is present. We don’t know if those things will happen or not, but they are a real possibility.

  • If you study, you‘ll pass
  • If he doesn’t call you, tell me immediately.
  • If you’ve come to class, the exam is going to be easy.
  • If you help me, I’ll have finished by the end of the month.

We don’t use will in the if clause.

  • I’ll help you if you need me (NOT if you will need me)

 

unless = if (not)

 
We can also use unless in conditional sentences to mean if … (not)

  • I won’t go on holiday unless I save some money.
  • = I won’t go on holiday if I don’t save some money.

 

in case

 
We use in case to talk about the possibility of something happening. After in case we also use present to talk about the future.

  • I’ll take my umbrella in case it rains. (=maybe it will rain)

But the meaning of in case is different from if. Compare:

  • I’ll take my umbrella in case it rains(=I’ll take my umbrella if it rains and I’ll take my umbrella if it doesn’t rain)
  •  I’ll take my umbrella if it rains(=I’ll take my umbrella if it rains but I won’t take my umbrella if it doesn’t rain)

 

First vs zero conditional

 
We use the first conditional to talk about a particular situation, whereas we use the zero conditional to talk about what happens in general.

  • If you don’t use oil, it tastes awful. (=I’m talking about what happens every time.)
  • If you don’t use oil, it will taste awful. (=I’m talking about this particular occasion.)

 

Future time clauses – grammar chart

 
Future time clauses
 
When we are talking about the future we use the present, and (NOT will) after the expressions when, as soon as, until, once, before, after, while. After these expressions we can use any form of present (present simple, present continuous, present perfect) to talk about the future.

  • I’ll go to bed as soon as I finish my homework. 
  • When I am 65, I will retire. 
  • I won’t leave until you arrive

As it happens with the conditional sentences, we use a comma when we begin the sentence with a time clause. But we don’t use a comma if we put the time clause at the end of the sentence.

  • When I am 65, I will retire. 
  • I will retire when I am 65. 

 

With present perfect

 
We can often use the present perfect after the time word. The meaning is similar to using the present simple, but with the present perfect we emphasise that the action will be completed.

  • I’ll go to bed as soon as I have finished my homework. 
  • I won’t leave until you have arrived

 


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