When we want to talk about things that are always or generally true, we can use

If/When/Unless plus a present form PLUS present simple or imperative.

  • If you press this button, you get black coffee.
  • When you fly budget airline, you don't expect to get anything to eat.
  • Unless you need a lot of leg-room, don't pay the extra for first class.

Notice that we are talking about something which is generally true, not a specific event.

In the condition clause, there can be a variety of present forms. In the result clause, there can only be the present simple or imperative.

  • If you visit Barcelona, look out for the spectacular architecture.
  • If unemployment is rising, people tend to stay in their present jobs.
  • If you've finished everything, go home.
  • When you go to Barbados, take plenty of sun cream.
  • When I'm working, please be quiet.
  • When I've written a new article, I run it through my spell-checker.

Notice that 'unless' means the same as 'if not'.

  • Unless he asks you to continue, stop all work on the project.
  • Unless interest rates are rising, it's not a good investment.
  • Unless you've been to Tokyo yourself, you don't really understand how fantastic it is.



exercise 1

exercise 2

exercise 3

exercise 4

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