Unit 39. Unless, as long as, and provided / providing (that)
Study this example situation:
Here are some more examples of unless:
Don’t tell Ann what I said unless she asks you. (= except if she asks you)
I’ll come tomorrow unless I have to work. (= except if I have to work)
I wouldn’t eat between meals unless I were extremely hungry. (= except if I were extremely hungry)
We often use unless in warnings:
We’ll be late unless we hurry. (= except if we hurry)
Unless you work harder, you’re not going to pass the exam. (= except if you work harder)
The thief said he would hit me unless I told him where the money was. (= except if I told him)
Instead of unless it is possible to say if… not:
Don’t tell Ann what I said if she doesn’t ask you.
We’ll be late if we don’t hurry.
You can use my car as long as (or so long as) you drive carefully. ( = but only if you drive carefully)
Traveling by car is convenient provided (that) you have somewhere to park. (= but only if you have somewhere to park)
Providing (that) she studies hard, she should pass the exam. (= but only if she studies hard)
As long as provided (that) providing (that) These expressions mean but only if:
We’ll be late unless we hurry, (not unless we will hurry)
Providing she studies hard … (not providing she will study)
When you are talking about the future, do not use will with unless, as long as, provided, or providing. Use a present tense:
See Unit 9 for more information about this rule.