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Adverbial clause

An adverb clause is a dependent clause that functions as an adverb. In other words, it contains
a subject (explicit or implied) and apredicate, and it modifies a verb.

I saw Joe when I went to the store. (explicit subject 2)

He sat quietly in order to appear polite. (implied subject he)

According to Sidney Greenbaum and Randolph Quirk, adverbial clauses function mainly
as adjuncts or disjuncts. In these functions they are like adverbial phrases, but due to their potentiality for
greater explicitness, they are more often like prepositional phrases(Greenbaum and Quirk,1990):

We left after the speeches ended. (adverbial clause)

We left after the end of the speeches. (adverbial prepositional phrase)

Contrast adverbial clauses with adverbial phrases, which do not contain a clause.

I like to fly kites for fun.

Adverbial clauses modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. For example:

Hardly had I reached the station when the train started to leave the platform.

The adverbial clause in this sentence is "when the train started to leave the platform" because it is
a subordinate clause and because it has the trigger word (subordinate conjunction) "when".

Type of
Common Conjunctions Function Example

when, before, after, since, while, as, as long

These clauses are used to
as, until,till, etc. (conjunctions that answer
say when something Her goldfish
clauses of the question "when?"); thepaired
happens by referring to a died when she was
time (correlative) conjunctions hardly ... when,
period of time or to young.
scarcely ... when, barely ... when, no
another event.
sooner ... than[1]

These clauses are used to If they lose weight

clause of talk about a possible or during an illness,
if, unless, lest
condition counterfactual situation they soon regain it
and its consequences. afterwards.

They had to take

These clauses are used to some of his land so
clauses of
in order to, so that, in order that indicate the purpose of an that they could
action. extend the

clauses of because, since, as, given These clauses are used to I couldn't feel anger
reason indicate the reason for against him because I
something. liked him too much.

These clauses are used to

I used to read a
make two statements, one
clause of lotalthough I don't
although, though, while of which contrasts with
concession get much time for
the other or makes it seem
books now.

where, wherever, anywhere, everywhere, These clauses are used to

clauses of He said he was
etc. (conjunctions that answer the question talk about the location or
place happywhere he was.
"where?") position of something.

Johan can speak

clause of Adverb as is a clause
as English as fluently as
comparison which states comparison.
his teacher.

These clauses are used to

talk about someone's
I was never allowed
clauses of behavior or the way
as, like, the way to do things as I
manner something is done,
wanted to do them.
answering the question,

My suitcase had
become so damaged
These clauses are used to
result on the journey
so...that, such...that indicate the result of
clauses home that the lid
would not stay