Intermediate English Grammar (B1) Lesson 9 of 25

Zero Conditional

Read and listen to four conversations using the grammar.

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Conversation 1

Man: Where do you work?
Woman: I work at the beach. I’m a lifeguard.
Man: Interesting. That must be a great job.
Woman: Sometimes. But if it is hot, it gets really busy.
Man: Oh, yeah? What about in winter?
Woman: When winter comes, the beaches are empty, so there’s no work.
Man: Yeah, I work at an outdoor cafe, and it’s similar.
Woman: Because of the weather?
Man: Yes. If it rains, there’s not many customers. People don’t come when it rains.
Woman: Yeah, that makes sense.

Conversation 2

Man: Do you like to cook?
Woman: Yes, when I get the chance.
Man: Do you have a big kitchen?
Woman: I do, but I rarely use it because I’m so busy. I only use it when I have guests.
Man: How do you cook for yourself, then?
Woman: Well, if I’m making easy stuff, I just use the microwave.
Man: Oh, I’m so jealous. I would love to have a big kitchen. Any kitchen, for that matter!
Woman: Really? You don’t have a kitchen?
Man: No, I don’t. I have a tiny apartment, so I just have a microwave.
Woman: I see. So what do you do? Do you just eat take-out every night?
Man: Yeah, usually, or I order something online and have it delivered.
Woman: Yeah, I do that, too. Sign of the times, I guess.

Conversation 3

Man: I heard you speak Spanish.
Woman: I do, but my Spanish is not perfect.
Man: Do you use it much?
Woman: Yes, for work, and when I go to Mexico to visit friends.
Man: That’s cool. I want to learn Spanish. I sometimes need it when I visit my wife’s family.
Woman: Oh, where is her family from?
Man: They are from Colombia.
Woman: Oh, I see. Can they speak English?
Man: Yes, they can, but I can’t understand them when they speak Spanish to each other.
Woman: Yeah, I know how that feels.

Conversation 4

Man: Where do you work?
Woman: At a restaurant.
Man: Interesting. How do you like working at the restaurant?
Woman: I like it, but it’s hard when it gets busy.
Man: Do you get tips?
Woman: Not always, but I sometimes get them if I have a really big order.
Man: Cool! I don’t get tips, but I get a commission if I make a sale. I’m in real estate.
Woman: That must be nice. I hear you can make a lot of money in real estate.
Man: You can, if the economy is good, but not when the market is slow.

Zero Conditional

Point 1: The zero conditional shows a simple cause and affect. Action A causes Action B.
  1. Turn on the heater if it gets hot.
  2. I do not walk if it rains.
  3. I take the bus if I have time.
  4. I do not drive if the traffic is bad.
Point 2: The zero conditional uses when instead of if in some cases.
  1. I do not walk to work if it rains.
  2. I do not walk to work when it rains.
  3. I take the bus if I have time.
  4. I take the bus when I have time.
Point 3: Because zero conditionals are subordinating clauses, the order of the clauses can be reversed.
  1. He gets mood if he does not have coffee.
  2. If he does not have coffee, he gets moody.
  3. The beach is crowded if the weather is nice.
  4. If the weather is nice, the beach is crowded.
Point 4: The zero conditional uses the simple present tense because it expresses recurring actions.
  1. We play cards of the weekend if we feel like it.
  2. If she gets stressed, she starts acting strange.
  3. If the economy is good, people spend more money.
  4. When it rains, it pours. (idiom)
Answer these questions about the interview.

Gap Fill: Complete the conversation with the correct word!

More Grammar Conversations for Intermediate Students (B1)

Grammar Listening Practice

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B1-06 Want to / Would like to
I’d like to be a chef. I want to have my own restaurant.

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B1-07 Present Perfect - Experiences
I have been to Japan, Korea and China.

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B1-08 Modals of Obligation
What do you have to do today?

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B1-09 Zero Conditional
When it snows, do you go skiing?

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B1-10 First Conditional
Well, if it rains, we will play in the gym.

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