English Lessons and Exercises
Conditionals - Unless 

How to use "Unless" and "If"

Unless simply means "if ... not". We use it for negative conditions.
Unless is used to say that a specific action or situation will happen only if another  action happens before.

We use a positive verb after  unless, but the meaning is negative:

I won't go unless you go.                                           =   I won't go if you don't go

He won't  sleep unless you tell him a story.          =   He won't  sleep if you don't tell him a story.

They can’t pass the exam unless they study.       =   They can’t pass the exam if they don't study.

Unless you are a member,  you can't go in.          =     If you are not a member,  you can't go in.

Unless he has a passport, he can't go abroad.    =  If he doesn't have a passport, he can't go abroad.

I won't go to the party unless I am invited.              =  I won't go to the party if I am not invited.

We'll go swimming unless it's cold.                        =  We'll go swimming if it's not cold.

Type 1: (Unless + present)

  • Unless you leave now, you will be late.

  • You can't get a good job unless you've got experience.


Type 2: (Unless + past)

  • Unless I were  sick, I would be at work.

  • I wouldn't go there unless I had enough money.


Type 3: (Unless + past perfect)

  • She would have come with us if she hadn't been so ill.

  • The thieves would have killed her unless she'd given them the money.

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