ESL Term:

Zero Conditional

ESL/EFL Glossary: A Guide to applied linguistics terminology.


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zero conditional:  This is an if/then statement where a general principle is described or something that is generally true is described. It is often used where you are describing scientific fact. If you drop ice in water, it floats.  Note, both parts of the conditional use present tense:

If + present tense sentence, then + present tense sentence.

More examples:

         If you heat water to 100 degrees celsius, it boils.

         If you drop a piece of toast on the ground, it lands butter

         side down.

For another explanation of zero conditional please refer to the University of Victoria web site.

For more discussion of conditionals in this glossary see:

                                    first conditional

                                    second conditional

                                    third conditional