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Adverb Clauses : Definition, Uses and Examples

Learning English with The AN and freSy

English Grammar is really important if you want to master speaking or to write English. Adverb clauses are something that makes your writing much more informative and layered. However, the adverb clauses could be confusing and challenging to understand sometimes. To help you get a better understanding of this grammar component we are sharing a detailed explanation and how you can use it in your sentences perfectly.

Table of Content
  • What is an Adverb Clause?
  • Definition of an Adverb Clause
  • Adverb Clause of Place
  • Adverb Clause of Time
  • Adverb Clause of Reason/Purpose
  • Adverb Clause of Contrast
  • Adverb Clause of Condition
  • Composition of an Adverb Clause
  • How to Use Adverb Clauses?
  • Adverb Clauses Examples in Sentence
  • Adverb Clauses Practise Exercise

What is an Adverb Clause?

As the name implies, an adverb clause performs all the duties of a regular adverb. When, where, how, why, and how frequently are questions that help identify an adverb clause. See the definitions of adverb clauses from the following dictionaries to learn the true meaning of the term.

Definition of an Adverb Clause

An adverb clause is a dependent clause that functions as an adverb in a sentence. This kind of phrase is also referred to as an adverbial clause. It provides information on the WHY, WHEN, WHERE, and HOW of activity while also modifying the primary verb. As a result of the fact that it is a dependent clause, the first word in it is a subordinating conjunction.

An adverb clause is a dependent sentence that defines a verb or, on occasion, an adjective. Adverb clauses are sometimes known as adverb phrases. It’s interesting to note that an adverb clause may be included in a sentence in various locations.

Examples
  • I read a post about the president in the newspaper yesterday.
  • I read the information about refugees in the newspaper on Monday.
  • I saw Mr. Shaw there before classes started.

Types of adverb clauses

Here are different types of adverb clauses that you must know and learn to use in a sentence

Adverb Clause of Place

The location of an event may be described using an adverb of place. Oftentimes, an adverb of location will begin with a preposition (such as in, on, or near) or use one of the subordinating conjunctions listed here: anyplace, everywhere, where, or everywhere.

Examples
  • You can sit anywhere you want.
  • I see him everywhere I go.
  • It’s your house. You can sit anywhere you want.
  • My cat Winny follows me wherever I go.
Adverb Clause of Time

Whenever something takes place or how often it occurs is described by an adverb of time. Most of the time, an adverb of time will begin with one of the subordinating conjunctions listed here: after, as, as long as, as early as, before, no sooner than, since, till, when, or while.

Examples
  • When the war ended, several people returned to their broken homes.
  • While John was studying, I came in.
  • The girl ran away when she saw her dad.
  • The thief froze when he realized he was not alone in the house.
Adverb Clause of Reason/Purpose

An adverb of reason or purpose explains the primary notion. Most of the time, an adverb of reason will begin with one of the subordinating conjunctions “as,” “because,” “given,” or “since”.

Examples
  • The woman works hard because she has several bills to pay.
  • Because Ram has money, he thinks he can get away with anything.
  • He was denied entrance as he could not pay the required fees.
Adverb Clause of Contrast

One way to modify a verb is by using an adverb clause of contrast, which provides information opposing the verb. Although, even though, whereas, despite and even if are examples of common subordinating conjunctions, though is perhaps the most common.

Examples
  • Though/although she has plenty of jewelry, she doesn’t show off much.
  • Everyone enjoyed the camping holiday though/although it rained all the time.
  • The question paper was difficult. I think I did good, though.
  • Despite the pain in her arm, she cooked everything.
Adverb Clause of Condition

The Adverb clause of the condition expresses the requirements that must be met before the primary concept may be put into action. It is common practice for an adverb of condition to begin with the words if or unless.

Examples
  • We will only attend the party if you personally invite us all.
  • Whether he likes it or not, he must complete her graduation.
  • My parents promised to buy me a car if I scored 80%.
  • If you come today, we will go out and eat.

Composition of an Adverb Clause

Adverbial clauses usually begin with a subordinating conjunction. For them to make sense and contribute to the formation of a full sentence, they need to be connected to an independent clause. Clauses with adverbial phrases respond to one of the following four questions: where, when, how, or why.

How to Use Adverb Clauses?

Adverb clauses are word clusters that function as a single unit to perform the functions of many adverbs.

Adverb clauses are dependent clauses. This indicates that they have a subject and a verb but do not adequately convey a whole thought on their own.

The first element of an adverb phrase is a subordinating conjunction after, before, till, while, because, since, as, and since, so that, if, unless, whether, however, although, even though, and where are some examples of subordinating conjunctions.

To construct an adverb clause, we need, at a minimum, the three components listed below:

  • Subordinating conjunction
  • Subject (noun/pronoun)
  • Verb
Examples: “I’ll give you a call when I get free.”

Subordinating conjunction = when

Subject = I

Verb = get

Compliment = free

If a dependent clause that includes one of the subordinating conjunctions listed above and a subject-verb combination modifies a verb by describing its place, time, reason, concession, or condition, we refer to that clause as an adverbial clause because it performs the same function as an adverb. Adverbial clauses are also known as adverbial phrases.

Adverb Clauses Examples in Sentence

  • I’ll return his money as soon as I get my payment cleared.
  • We will get married when the time is right.
  • If you really love me, you will listen to me.
  • He didn’t reach there on time though he left his house very early.

Adverb Clauses Practise Exercise

Here are some sentences to help you practice in identifying the adverb clauses:

  1. _____ she loved him, she didn’t believe he cheated on her.
  2. John ran the race as ______ everything depended on it.
  3. We can go into the swimming pool ____ you wear your swimsuit.
  4. I never knew traveling could be fun _____ I met you.
  5. Once everyone saw the bike coming, the birds flew away ____ the sound.
  6. Elephants, _____ they are huge, are not dangerous.
  7. Chocolate, ___ it has a low melting point, you can not bake with it.
Answers
  1. Because
  2. though
  3. as soon as
  4. until
  5. due to
  6. although
  7. since

Conclusion – Adverb Clauses

Although adverb clauses are a bit more difficult to understand than adverbs that stand on their own, they are an extremely helpful tool that can be used to add greater information to your writing by describing how and why things occur.

As you start to add subordinating conjunctions as well as dependent clauses to your writing, you will see the changes by shifting the rhythm of your sentences. This is an important step in the process of improving your writing.

Adverb Clauses- FAQs

Adverbial clauses are a kind of dependent clause that modifies the verb that is featured prominently in independent clauses. They begin with a subordinating conjunction, and then in order for them to make sense, they have to relate to a phrase that is on its own.

The different types of adverbs Clauses are:

  • Adverbs Clauses of time.
  • Adverbs Clauses of place.
  • Adverbs Clauses of reason.
  • Adverbs Clauses of contrast.
  • Adverbs Clauses of condition.

Always keep in mind that the first word of an adverb clause must be a subordinating conjunction such as “after,” “whether,” “if,” “because,” “although,” “even though,” or any other similar word. It is possible to insert an adverb clause at the beginning of a sentence, in the midst of a sentence, or toward the conclusion of a sentence.

  • If he can prove that he can handle the physical demands of playing, we will let him join the team.
  • They kissed passionately in the park as if no one were watching.
  • When youngsters have finished their schoolwork, they may turn on the TV.
  • Where we used to play cricket is where they would meet us.
  • Call us when you come back from your vacation.
  • We had to track down the watering hole where they told us to wait.
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