Learn How to Use UNLESS in English Sentences with Picture and Examples.
Unless means the same as if…not. Like if, unless is followed by a present tense, a past tense, or a past perfect tense.
Table of Contents
How to Use UNLESS with Examples
Unless is used instead of if…not in conditional sentences of all types.
UNLESS + Present Tense
- You’ll be sick unless you stop eating. ( You will be sick if you do not stop eating.)
- He won’t go to sleep unless you tell him a story. (He won’t go to sleep if you do not tell him a story.)
UNLESS + Past Tense
- She would be here by now unless she was stuck in traffic. (She would be here by now if she was not stuck in traffic.)
- I wouldn’t eat this food unless I was really hungry. (I wouldn’t eat this food if I was not really hungry.)
UNLESS + Past Perfect
- They would have shot her unless she’d given them the money. (They would have shot her if she had not given them the money.)
- Unless the train hadn’t broken down, we were sure to be late. (If the train had not broken down, we would have been on time.)
– We cannot use unless in questions:
What will you do if you do not pass this final exam? (NOT: What will you do unless you pass this final exam?)
– We don’t use will or would in the clause after unless:
Unless we leave now, we can be late. (NOT: Unless we will leave now, can be late.)