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Jen’s English Tip’s – How to use word UNLESS

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Using the Word Unless

Unless is a conjunction which we use in conditional phrases. In written English, the clause that follows unless is the subordinate clause (SC) meaning that it needs a main clause (MC) to make a complete sentence.It is similar to how we use if in conditional phrases.

When unless comes before a main clause we use a comma:

Unless it rains, we’ll go for a picnic tomorrow.

When the main clause comes first, no comma is required:

They won’t come unless you invite them.
Unless is like if in that we don’t not use will/would after it. We only use the present simple tense.
Unless I hear from you, I’ll see you at 5pm.

HOW DO WE USE “UNLESS”?

Unless and if not

Ok, so unless is similar to “if…..not” and together they mean “except if”. Note: We refer to real conditional situations and NOT impossible situations.

If you don’t study, you will fail your exam./ Unless you study, you will fail.

We could eat at Frankie and Benny’s if they’re not closed on a Monday/ We could eat at Frankie and Benny’s unless they are closed on a Monday.

I’ll make dinner if nobody wants to/ I’ll make dinner unless someone else wants to.

If you don’t stop smoking, you will feel bad/ Unless you stop smoking, you will feel bad

Note that the sentence after unless is always a positive sentence. You cannot have a negative sentence after unless because that would make the sentence a double negative and senseless.

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Posted by on Sep 22 2015. Filed under English Tips by Jen. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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