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Get To Know About Adverbial Clause. What Are They?

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Adverbial clause is a dependent clause used as an adverb; it therefore can modify a verb, an adjective, a verbal, another adverb, or a sentence.

Examples :
  • John went home early.
  • John went home as soon as he could.


Subordinating words in adverbial clause


A subordinate conjunction introduces the adverbial clause and connect it with a word in the main clause. The following are frequently used subordinating conjunctions :
  • After
  • Although
  • As
  • As if
  • As/so long as
  • As soon as
  • Because
  • Before
  • Even if
  • Even though
  • For fear that
  • If
  • In order that
  • No matter if
  • On condition that
  • Provided (that)
  • Since
  • So that
  • So... that
  • Such... that/... such that
  • Supposing (that)
  • Than
  • Though
  • Unless
  • Until
  • Whatever
  • When
  • Whenever
  • Where
  • Wherever
  • Whether
  • While

The following are examples of adverbial clause arranged according to the meaning of the subordinate conjunction.


1. Adverbial Clause of Time


When, whenever, while, since, after, before, until, as.

Examples :
  • Abraham Lincoln maintained great interest in legal studies when he was president.
  • He read law books whenever he had the chance.
  • He worked as a lawyer after he finished his education.
  • He had wanted to be a lawyer since he was a young boy.


2. Adverbial Clause of Place


Where, wherever.

Examples :
  • I have always lived where I was born.
  • We will meet wherever the committee decides.


3. Adverbial Clause of Manner


As, as if.

Examples :
  • I will do as I have been instructed.
  • He acted as if he owned the place.


4. Adverbial Clause of Comparison


As, than

Examples :
  • I don't swim as well as he does.
  • However, I swim better than she does.


5. Adverbial Clause of Reason, cause, purpose


As, because, so that, in order that, for fear that, since.

Examples :
  • As/Since you have already studied that chapter, it will not be necessary to read it again.
  • The instructions are to read that chapter so that we will be prepared to take the examination.
  • I will study the chapter so that I can pass the examination.
  • I read the chapter in order that I might be prepared to take the examination.
  • I read that chapter several times for fear that I might not be prepared for the examination.


6. Adverbial Clause of Result


So..., that, such... that/... such that.
Examples :

  • The book was so interesting that I read it in one evening.
  • It was such an interesting book that I read it in one evening.
  • His skill was such that he solved the problem very rapidly.


7. Adverbial Clause of Condition


If, whether, unless, provided (that), on condition, that, as/so long as, supposing (that).

Examples :
  • He will sign the contract if it is satisfactory.
  • He will sign the contract whether it is satisfactory or not.
  • He will not sign the contract unless it is satisfactory.
  • He will sign the contract as long as his wife has no objections.


8. Adverbial Clause of Contrast, concession


Although, though, even though, no matter if, while, even if, wherever, whenever, whatever, as much as, whereas.

Examples :
  • Wherever I sat in class, my teacher always made sure I could hear.
  • Whenever I spoke, they always listened patiently.
  • Whatever I may achieve, my fellow students and teachers deserve a lot of credit.
  • I wanted to excel in everything, no matter if it cost me extra effort.


Adverbial clause are subordinate clauses which act as an adverbial part of another clause (i.e. of a main clause). They can answer such questions as "when, why, if what, and what for?".

Example :
  • Zoe and I once met when we were at school. (clause of time)
  • I won't know her if we meet again. (conditional clause)
  • Although Grandpa is over eighty, he is still very active. (clause of contrast)
  • I bought a new typewriter because the old one was broken. (clause of reason and cause)
  • Where shall we go for a walk? "We can go wherever you like." (clause of place)

MeaningConjunctions which begin the clause
TimeAfter, before, as, once, since, until, when, whenever, while.
ConditionIf, unless.
ContrastAlthough, whereas, while.
Reason and CauseBecause, since, as.
PlaceWhere, wherever.

Others :
  • As soon as,
  • Immediately,
  • As long as,
  • Even though,
  • Seeing that,
  • In order to,
  • In order that,
  • So that, etc.