'Unless' and 'otherwise' may confuse learners as they are used to express negative meanings. In this lesson, we will learn their difference.

"Unless" vs. "Otherwise" in the English grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between 'unless' and 'otherwise' is that 'unless' talks about conditions while 'otherwise' talks about results.

Parts of Speech

'Unless' and 'otherwise' are conjunctions. They are used to connect clauses.

We won't come unless Lucy comes too.

I should write it otherwise I will forget the recipe.

Meaning

'Unless' and 'otherwise' are different in meaning. They each express different things.
'Unless' expresses and focuses on conditions. Have a look:

You can't apply for this position unless you have experience.

They won't let me see Nina unless I pay them.

Unlike 'unless,' 'otherwise' expresses and focuses on the result. We use it to show what would happen if a certain action is not fulfilled. For example:

we should leave otherwise we would be late.

We need to tell him the truth otherwise he will be angry.

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