Zero Conditionals, Structure, & Example Sentences

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Zero conditional sentences describe general truths—situations where one thing always causes another. They often express scientific facts, universally accepted truths, or explain what happens under certain conditions, always resulting in the same outcome.

Structure

The structure of a zero conditional sentence is straightforward:

  • If + present simple tense, then + present simple tense.

It can also start with the result followed by the condition, without changing the meaning.

Rules

  1. Use the present simple tense in both clauses (condition and result).
  2. ‘If’ can be replaced with ‘when’ without changing the meaning, as both imply certainty.
  3. Both parts of the sentence are interchangeable without changing the overall meaning.
  4. Do not use will/might/could etc., as the outcome is certain and not dependent on future possibilities.

Zero Conditionals Example Sentences

  1. If you heat ice, it melts.
  2. When you mix red and blue, you get purple.
  3. If it rains, the grass grows.
  4. If humans breathe oxygen, they survive.
  5. If you cut off a starfish’s arm, it regenerates.
  6. If you don’t water plants, they die.
  7. When sugar is added to water, it dissolves.
  8. If iron is exposed to moisture, it rusts.
  9. If you push that button, the light turns on.
  10. If you freeze water, it turns into ice.
  11. When cats are happy, they purr.
  12. If you drop a ball, it falls.
  13. If you eat too much, you feel full.
  14. If plants get sunlight, they perform photosynthesis.
  15. If you break the law, you face consequences.
  16. When you boil water, it evaporates.
  17. If electricity flows through a bulb, it lights up.
  18. When we breathe in oxygen, our lungs extract it.
  19. If you touch a hot stove, your skin burns.
  20. If people don’t sleep, they become tired.

These examples highlight the consistency and predictability associated with zero conditional sentences, making them perfect for expressing factual and habitual conditions and their outcomes.

Related:

First Conditionals

Second Conditionals

Third Conditionals

Zero Conditionals


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