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how to use unless in synthesis and transformation


P4 Synthesis & Transformation: how to use “Unless”



Many of my students’ schools have been or will be giving their students assessments this month. This can be a good indicator of how well the students have managed their school and tuition home-based learning over the past few months.

I have a number of students who have thrived during the months of HBL. Without the distraction and fatigue of extra-curricular activities, they worked at home, revising their subjects and doing assessment books. While some thrived, others seem to have slipped.

So for the next two months, I will do more practice revision on grammatical rules and techniques on different components with my students.

Synthesis and transformation has appeared increasingly often in Primary 4 assessment papers.

In my previous post, I gave tips on handling  the common questions that are set during tests

  • neither..nor/either..or,
  • both..and,
  • reported speech and prefer..to.

In this post, we will look at unless. Many students aren’t able to grasp the meaning of it and the correct way to use ‘unless’. If not corrected, this confusion can carry on till their primary 6 year.

So how do we use unless?

Unless means the same as if..not

It is used in conditional sentences of all types

Unless is followed by a present tense, a past tense or a past perfect tense


Example 1

You will be late for school if you do not leave now

You will be late for school unless you leave now


Example 2

If you do not work hard you will fail

Unless you work hard you will fail


Example 3

He would be here now if he was not stuck at work

He would be here now unless he was stuck at work

I hope that this post has clarified some doubts on the use of ‘unless’. All the best for your upcoming tests!

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