Unless: Negative Conditions

 They will get married outside unless there is a tornado.

(If there is a tornado, they won’t.)

 He will play soccer this afternoon unless he injures himself.

(If he injures himself, he won’t.)

The adverbial unless makes a negative condition.  It begins a dependent clause, meaning it is followed by a subject + a verb.  It needs to be connected to an independent clause. This dependent clause can come first or second in the sentence. If the sentence begins with unless, a comma must follow the dependent clause. For example:

I will kiss you unless you’ve been eating onions.

Unless you’ve been eating onions, I will kiss you.

(If you’ve been eating onions, I won’t kiss you!)

Now you practice: Example answers below.

I will come to class on time unless __________________________________

Unless _________________________, I will come to class on time.

(If _______________________________________, I won’t)

She will graduate unless _____________________________

Unless ____________________________________, she will graduate.

(If _______________________, she won’t)

He will exercise unless __________________________.

Unless ___________________________, he will exercise.

(If ________________________, he won’t)

(Now you try all three parts yourself!)


Answers:

I will come to class on time unless my alarm doesn’t work.

Unless my alarm doesn’t work, I will come to class on time.

(If my alarm doesn’t work, I won’t)

 

She will graduate unless she fails a class.

Unless she fails a class, she will graduate.

(If she fails a class, she won’t)

 

He will exercise unless he feels too lazy.

Unless he feels too lazy, he will exercise.

(If he feels too lazy, he won’t.)

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