Adverbial Clauses: Example Sentences of Adverbial Clauses in English

Adverbial clauses are essential components of a sentence that provide additional information about the verb, adjective, or adverb. They are always dependent clauses, meaning they cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. Instead, they modify the main clause and provide important details about the time, place, reason, or manner of an action.

In this article, we will explore the different types of adverbial clauses, how to identify them, and how to use them effectively in writing. We will also discuss the various subordinating conjunctions that are commonly used to introduce adverbial clauses and provide examples to help you understand their usage better.

Adverbial Clauses

An adverbial clause is used as an adverb; it means the clause modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

Adverbial Clauses

Adverb Clauses of Condition

These adverb clauses answer the question HOW.

  • Even if: Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.
  • If:  He cannot refuse if you ask politely.
  • Only if: The lawyer is paid only if he wins.
  • Unless: Don’t say you love me unless you really mean it.
  • In case: Never walk behind a horse in case it kicks out at you.

Adverb Clauses of Place

These adverbial clauses answer the question WHERE.

  • Anywhere: I’ve lost my keys. I can’t find them anywhere.
  • Where: He went to Hull University, where he studied History and Economics.
  • Everywhere: There you are! I’ve been looking for you everywhere.
  • Wherever: I will follow you wherever you go.

Adverb Clauses of Time

These adverbial clauses answer the question WHEN.

(Time Clauses)

  • After: I walk back after work every day.
  • As soon as: The baby can cry as soon as he is born.
  • Before: It’s most unlikely that she’ll arrive before seven.
  • By the time: By the time she was eight, she could read Greek and Latin.
  • Once: The receptionist recognized him at once.
  • Since: The rain has been continuous since this morning.
  • Till/ Until: Let’s wait till the rain stops.
  • When/ While: He kept in touch with us while he was on vacation.
  • Whenever: Always lock your car whenever you leave it.
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Adverb Clauses of Reason

These adverb clauses answer the question WHY.

  • As: We asked Philip to come with us, as he knew the road.
  • Because: Don’t say sorry, because we never mind.
  • Since: Since you are unable to answer, perhaps we should ask someone else.

Adverb Clauses of Concession

These adverb clauses answer the question HOW, albeit in a roundabout way.

  • Although: Although she is young, she is very independent.
  • Even though: She hasn’t phoned, even though she said she would.
  • Though: Anne was fond of Tim, though he often annoyed her.

Adverb Clauses of Purpose

These adverb clauses also answer the question WHY.

  • So that: We need a microphone so that people in the back can hear us.
  • In order that: He ate vegetables in order that he could stay healthy.

Adverb Clauses of Comparison

  • Than: Natalie was prettier than her sister.
  • As…as: Tom’s not as old as you, is he?

Adverb Clauses of Manner

These adverb clauses answer the question HOW.

  • As if: Mandy looked as if she had seen a ghost.
  • Just as: The room was decorated just as he had imagined.

Adverb Clauses of Result

  • So…that: He was so weak that he could hardly stand up.
  • Such…that: It’s such a tiny kitchen that I don’t have to do much to keep it clean.

Using Adverbial Clauses in Sentences

Adverbial clauses are a great way to add more information and detail to your sentences. They can help you show time, cause, manner, and more. In this section, we will discuss how to use adverbial clauses in sentences.

Firstly, it is important to remember that an adverbial clause is a dependent clause. This means that it cannot stand alone as a meaningful sentence in its own right. An adverbial clause usually starts with a subordinating conjunction, such as “although,” “because,” “if,” “until,” or “when.”

One way to use adverbial clauses is to show time. For example, “After we finished hiking for the day, we took a nap.” Here, “After we finished hiking for the day” is the adverbial clause that shows when we took a nap. Other examples of temporal adverbial clauses include “While I was fishing last year, I caught a fish” and “Before I go to bed, I always brush my teeth.”

Another way to use adverbial clauses is to show cause. For example, “Because it was raining, we decided to stay inside.” Here, “Because it was raining” is the adverbial clause that explains why we decided to stay inside. Other examples of causal adverbial clauses include “Since she was sick, she couldn’t come to the party” and “As I was running late, I missed my train.”

Related  Adverbs of Frequency: Useful List of Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbial clauses can also show manner. For example, “She addressed the crowd as she had practiced in the mirror.” Here, “as she had practiced in the mirror” is the adverbial clause that shows how she addressed the crowd. Other examples of adverbial clauses of manner include “They designed the new product the way innovators problem-solve around design flaws” and “He spoke softly as not to wake the baby.”

Common Mistakes when Using Adverbial Clauses

As with any grammatical construct, there are common mistakes that people make when using adverbial clauses. Here are a few of the most common ones:

Mistake 1: Using the Wrong Subordinating Conjunction

Adverbial clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunctions, such as “after,” “although,” “because,” “if,” and “when.” Using the wrong subordinating conjunction can lead to confusion or even change the meaning of the sentence. For example, using “although” instead of “because” in the sentence “Although it was raining, we went for a walk” changes the meaning to the opposite of what was intended.

Mistake 2: Misplacing the Adverbial Clause

Adverbial clauses should be placed close to the word or phrase they are modifying. Misplacing the adverbial clause can lead to confusion or ambiguity. For example, in the sentence “I saw the movie with my friends, after I finished my homework,” it is unclear whether “after I finished my homework” modifies “I saw the movie” or “I was with my friends.”

Mistake 3: Using an Incomplete Adverbial Clause

An adverbial clause must contain both a subject and a verb. Using an incomplete adverbial clause can lead to a sentence that is grammatically incorrect or unclear. For example, the sentence “Although tired” is incomplete and should be revised to “Although I was tired.”

Mistake 4: Overusing Adverbial Clauses

While adverbial clauses can be useful for adding detail and complexity to a sentence, overusing them can make a sentence difficult to read or understand. It’s important to use adverbial clauses sparingly and only when they add something important to the sentence.

Tips for Mastering Adverbial Clauses

When it comes to mastering adverbial clauses, there are a few tips that can help you improve your writing and communication skills. Here are some of our top tips:

  • Identify the subordinating conjunction: Adverbial clauses always begin with a subordinating conjunction. By identifying this conjunction, you can easily spot the beginning of the clause and understand how it relates to the rest of the sentence.
  • Understand the function of the clause: Adverbial clauses can serve many different functions, such as indicating time, place, manner, or cause and effect. Understanding the function of the clause will help you use it correctly in your writing.
  • Learn common subordinating conjunctions: There are many different subordinating conjunctions that can be used to begin an adverbial clause. Learning these conjunctions can help you identify them in your own writing and understand how they function.
  • Use commas correctly: Adverbial clauses that come before the subject of the sentence should be separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma. This helps to clarify the meaning of the sentence and make it easier to read.
  • Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice using adverbial clauses, the more comfortable you will become with them. Try incorporating them into your writing and speaking as much as possible to improve your skills.
Related  List of Adverbs: 75+ Popular Adverbs in English

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of adverbial clauses of time?

Adverbial clauses of time indicate when an action takes place. Examples include: “After I finish my work, I will go for a walk” and “As soon as the sun sets, we will light the campfire.”

What is an example of an adverbial clause of place?

Adverbial clauses of place indicate where an action takes place. Examples include: “Wherever you go, I will follow” and “I left my keys where I found them.”

How do you identify an adverbial clause of manner?

Adverbial clauses of manner indicate how an action is done. They often begin with subordinating conjunctions such as “as” or “like.” Examples include: “He sang as if he were on stage” and “She danced like a professional.”

What is the purpose of an adverbial clause of purpose?

Adverbial clauses of purpose indicate the reason for an action. Examples include: “I study hard so that I can get good grades” and “He took the job in order to support his family.”

What are some examples of adverbial clauses of condition?

Adverbial clauses of condition indicate the circumstances under which an action takes place. Examples include: “If it rains, we will stay indoors” and “Unless you finish your homework, you cannot watch TV.”

What is an example of an adverbial clause of reason?

Adverbial clauses of reason indicate why an action takes place. Examples include: “Since it’s raining, we will cancel the picnic” and “Because he was sick, he couldn’t attend the meeting.”

Last Updated on November 15, 2023

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