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 ifnot:

  • Don’t tell Ann what I said if she doesn’t ask you.

  • We’ll be late if we don’t hurry.

    As long as provided (that) providing (that) These expressions mean but only if:

  • 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)

    When you are talking about the future, do not use will with unless, as long as, provided, or providing. Use a present tense:

  • We’ll be late unless we hurry, (not unless we will hurry)

  • Providing she studies hard … (not providing she will study)

    See Unit 9 for more information about this rule.

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