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Adverbial Clause

What is an Adverbial Clause?
An adverbial clause is a group of words which plays the role of an adverb which contains a subject and a verb. When the complete dependent clause functions entirely as an adverb, that is, it modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb in the main clause, it is known as an adverbial clause. It is most often introduced to the main clause by the use of a subordinate conjunction, and just like other clauses, contains a subject as well as a predicate.

You can study the two sentences and the difference between an adverb and an adverbial clause.

1) Keep working on your weight loss program daily.

Daily= An Adverb

2) Keep working on your weight loss program until you lose five pounds of weight.

Until you lose five pounds of weight= an adverbial clause, which contains
  1. Until as the subordinate conjunction
  2. You as the subject
  3. Lose five pounds of weight as the predicate
And the whole of it works as an adverb to modify the verb (keep working) in the main clause.

An adverb clause will meet three requirements:
  1. It will contain a subject and verb.
  2. It will contain a subordinate conjunction that keeps the clause from expressing a complete thought.
  3. Finally, the clause answers one of these three adverb questions: How? When? Or Why?

 

Types of Adverbial Clauses

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Adverbial Clauses function as standard adverbs in a number of ways. They can be categorized into various types according to the following parameters:

1) Place or Location 

The adverbial clauses that indicate place or location of action/verb in the main clause usually start with one of these subordinate conjunctions- where, wherever.

2) Time

The adverbial clauses that indicate time of action/verb in the main clause usually start with one of these subordinate conjunctions- since, while, until, after, before, when, whenever, etc.

3) Manner

The adverbial clauses that indicate manner of action/ verb usually in the main clause start with one of these subordinate conjunctions- like, as, as if, etc.

4) Reason

The adverbial clauses that indicate reason of action/ verb in the main clause usually start with one of these subordinate conjunctions- because, as, in order to, since, so that etc.

5) Degree or Comparison

The adverbial clauses that indicate degree or comparison of verb in the main clause usually start with one of these subordinate conjunctions- as, than, etc. Though most adverbial clauses modify verbs, however these adverbial clauses of comparison may often modify adjectives and adverbs in the main clause as well.

6) Possibility or Conditionality

The adverbial clauses that indicate possibility or conditionality in the main clause usually start with one of these subordinate conjunctions- though, although, unless, if, even if, etc.

Adverbial Clause

Examples of Adverbial Clauses

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  1. We will go wherever you want to take us for a picnic.
  2. I watched the movie while my brother completed the painting.
  3. You treat me as if I am a stranger.
  4. John will visit the market today as he has to buy a pair of new shoes.
  5. This dress is costlier than the one we purchased for our sister.
  6. The workshop finished earlier than its expected time.
  7. Our team performed better than every other team on the show.
  8. She cannot bake the cake unless the oven is repaired.
  9. While you wait, I will quickly make some coffee for us.
  10. As I approached the glowing light, I saw a thin figure passing by.

In the examples above, the adverbial clause is in bold; and the verb/ adjective/ adverb they modify in the main clause is italicized. The subordinate conjunction that has introduced the adverbial clause to its main clause has been underlined in bold.

Main Clause

Exercise
Underline the adverbial clause in the following sentences-
  • I feel very satisfied when I help out needy people.
  • The woman prepared dinner while her husband watched television.
  • She is confident than she was ever before.
  • While doing homework, Mary fell asleep.
  • Since it has started raining, I will stay in the office a little longer.
  • I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my father took me to see him in a mall, and he asked for my autograph.
  • He acts like it is a joke.
  • She is not as bright as she thinks she is.
  • A loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice, even if it's a whisper.
  • When I delivered the newspaper, I saw Mrs. Samson at the window.
  • Although I'd never been in the Martins' house before, I felt at home there.
  • When you listen to music on the radio, do you hum along with it?
  • The movie was just beginning as we bought our tickets.
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