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Using Unless

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Unless means if not. We use it in conditional sentences instead of if not.

Unless can be used with present, past and past perfect tenses. Use unless with present tenses when talking about the future.


You will damage your health unless you stop smoking. = you will damage your health if you do not stop smoking.


Unless she was working late, she would be here. = If she was not working, she would would be here.

Past Perfect

I wouldn't have taken Paul unless his car hadn't broken down. = If Paul's car had not broken down I would not have taken him.

Now complete these sentences:

  • 1) You don't have to play ___ you want to.

  • 2) She'll be here tonight, ___ her flight is delayed.

  • 3) I would not have bought these unless they ___ on sale.

  • 4) I ___ email you unless I have a problem.

  • 5) Unless ___ mistaken, he works for Adidas.

  • 6) I ___ to college unless it's raining.

  • 7) She is going to quit her job unless she ___ a pay rise.