Grammar Talks 4-10 Zero Conditionals

What to do when and if ....

Sarah and Todd share what they do in certain situations.

Todd: So Sarah, let's talk about things we do under certain situations.

Sarah: Okay.

Todd: So when you are stressed with a lot of work, what do you do?

Sarah: I always do the same thing. If I'm stressed, I clean.

Todd: Really?

Sarah: Yes. If I feel anxious or stress or I'm worried, I always clean. I usually clean the house or wash the dishes and I feel better because I'm busy and I'm accomplishing something. So if I'm stressed, I clean. If I clean, I feel better.

Todd: Oh, that's great.

Sarah: How about you? What do you do if you feel stressed?

Todd: If I'm stressed, I exercise.

Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Todd: So when I exercise, I always feel better. So if the weather is nice, I'll go jogging outside. And if the weather is cold or if it is raining, then I go to the gym.

Sarah: Ah, that's interesting.

Todd: Yeah, and I always feel better. So if I exercise for like one hour or two hours, my stress just goes away.

Sarah: Oh, that's great.

Todd: So what do you do if you have really low energy?

Sarah: To be honest, if I have low energy, I sleep.

Todd: Yeah.

Sarah: I always try to take a nap on the weekend. It's a little difficult because I have young kids but if I put a movie on, then I can have a break. I can take a rest, I can take a nap.

Todd: Right.

Sarah: What do you do if you feel tired?

Todd: Well, if I'm just really sleepy, of course, I sleep. But if I have low energy, I eat vegetables. So I make a salad or I eat just vegetables raw like a raw carrot or celery or something like that. I find that when I eat vegetables, I get a really big energy boost. But surprisingly, fruit does not work. I think maybe because of the sugar in fruit. Fruit makes me sleepy. So if I eat a banana or an apple sometimes, I don't feel more energetic but vegetables always.

Sarah: That's a really healthy response.

Todd: Yeah.

Sarah: Sometimes people think, "Oh, if I'm tired, I'll drink coffee, I'll drink an energy drink," but vegetables is a much better choice.

Todd: Yes, it's pretty hard to top vegetables. Okay, what do you do when you are bored? You're really bored, what's something you like to do to pass the time?

Sarah: If I'm bored, I love to listen to something. And I have three things I like to listen to. If I'm walking or running, I like to listen to music. If I'm cleaning the house, I listen to a podcast. Or if I'm just resting, I listen to a book, an audio book. So what do you do?

Todd: Similar to you I will find something to read or maybe watch on TV. So if there's a sports game on, I'll watch sports. If there's nothing on the TV related to sports, then usually I'll surf the channels on TV and hope that I find something that's a documentary or informative. I don't like to watch dramas, I don't like to watch like TV shows or movies and stuff like that. Sometimes I'll read but I find that when I'm bored, for some reason I don't want to read.

Sarah: Ah, sometimes I feel the same way.

Todd: Really?

Sarah: Yeah.

Todd: Yeah, I don't know what it is but maybe because it's like it's just work. Okay. So what do you do when you get really upset and you need to calm down? Somebody makes you angry, what do you do?

Sarah: Oh, when I'm upset, I leave. I don't want to shout or be angry or say something mean. So when I feel myself becoming angry, I immediately leave. And later when I'm calm, I try to solve the problem, talk to the person, fix the situation. But my first response is leave. How about you? What do you do if you feel upset or angry?

Todd: That's so interesting you say that because we're complete opposites.

Sarah: Really.

Todd: So if somebody makes me angry, I confront them right then and there. So I actually blow my top sometimes and I get angry back at them. For example, with my students, sometimes I have a short fuse with my students so I might get really angry with my students. But it's very short lived and I find that it's better. So if I release my energy, then I'm not dwelling on it. I don't let the anger continue and it's over, it's gone, and then I can move on, I'm at peace. And sometimes I apologize right away. I'll say, "Oh, I'm sorry. I lost my temper. I shouldn't have done that." But I'm the opposite of you, if I walk away, oh, my gosh. It's the worst. It will build and build and build and make me really upset. Yeah. So it's better that I get my emotions out right away.

Sarah: I see. So when you walk away, you feel more and more angry, and when I walk away, I feel more and more calm and relaxed.

Todd: Oh, totally. They have a phrase like stew on it. So I stew on it, totally. And yeah, it's not healthy.

Sarah: Sometimes there's a situation where I can't leave like I can't leave in the middle of class. So if I feel myself in class getting angry, I try to fix the problem before I become really angry. So I try to notice how do I feel right now. If I feel a little angry, I'm going to talk to the student. I'm going to fix the problem now. I won't wait until I become really angry.

Todd: Now, that's interesting.

Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Todd: Hmm, I guess we're all different in our own little way.

Sarah: Yeah.

Zero Conditional - Grammar Notes

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 the following questions about the interview.

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