business conditions: Part 1


Business conditions determine the internal and external circumstances and their results. Conditions can be seen in company rules and regulations such as company payments, employment, and promotion. They can be used to provide guidelines to making business deals. Decision making processes follow certain guidelines that are defined by business performances and available sources. Legal issues and contracts are also filled with conditions defined or ignored by businesses. In all, conditions exist in all the layers of a company, and they affect them all the time. The following words and phrases enable a Business English speaker to express them.

if …, then …

    If conditionals begin with the condition (if) and end with the result or the consequences (then). There are several if conditionals that allow speakers to talk about situations in the past, present, and future. However, we will only focus on two of them here. The first conditional (also known as zero conditional), expresses general truths. In other words, it is used to speak about a condition which is considered to be true all the time. Therefore, they are appropriate for expressing rules and regulations such as employment qualifications, business deal breakers and so on. Since these rules are generally true, both parts of the conditional are expressed in simple present.

Example 1

If an applicant passes the probationary period successfully, (then) they are offered a one year contract.

Example 2

If there is a delay in delivery, the company has to pay a fine.

The other form expresses the possibility of a result in the future. In this case, the if condition is in simple present while the result is specified using simple future. In this case the probability of the occurrence of the result can also be included using modals (can, may, might).

Example 3

If our supplier fails to deliver the raw material again, we will sue them and move on to another one.

Example 4

If the contractor finishes the project ahead of schedule, we may offer them the next two projects as well.

Example 5

If Jake visits the managing director, he might be able to convince him to sign the contract.

as long as

This phrase expresses the circumstance(s) under which an action or event is acceptable. It can be used at the beginning of the sentence or in the middle. Nonetheless, the condition has to come after “as long as”.

Example 1

As long as the company ignores their demands, the staff will continue the strike and refuse to work.

Example 2

Employees are free to work from home, as long as they get the job done.


Contrary to as long as, the word unless expresses the consequence of failing to meet the condition. This word can also be used at the beginning of the sentence or in the middle. The condition comes immediately after unless, and the consequence is expressed after the condition or at the beginning of the sentence.

Example 1

Unless the contract is signed before noon, the company will be sold to the competitor.

Example 2

A call option is not exercised unless the market value becomes higher than the option value.


This word is used to express the existence or absence of a condition. In other words, it expresses a question of the occurrence of a condition. For example, the question “Is the company going to export its products?” can be expressed in the following form by potential customers: “Customers are wondering whether the company is going to export its products.” This form can be used to talk about the condition or the result.

Example 1

Shareholders need to know whether their investment are yielding a healthy return.

Example 2

Businesses are wondering whether they can continue to work under such economic conditions.

Example 3

Whether competitors decide to lower their prices or not, Lotus will continue to sell at the same price.

You can use the words and phrases above to talk about the conditions in a business setting or to set certain conditions. They can be spoken to people in meetings or written in company manuals or even contracts. They are practical in that they provide a lot of information using only one sentence, not to mention the fact that they allow you to make rules and express ultimatums.

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