Adverbial Clauses

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What Are Adverbial Clauses? (with Examples)

An adverbial clause is a group of words which plays the role of an adverb. (Like all clauses, an adverbial clause will contain a subject and a verb.) For example: In the examples above, the normal adverb and adverbial clause both tell us when the gong is to be hit. They are both adverbs of time. All adverbs (including adverbial clauses) can usually be categorized as one of the following:

Adverbs of Time

An adverb of time states when something happens or how often. An adverb of time often starts with one of the following subordinating conjunctions: after, as, as long as, as soon as, before, no sooner than, since, until, when, or while. Here are some examples:

Adverbs of Place

An adverb of place states where something happens. An adverb of place often starts with a preposition (e.g., in, on, near) or one of the following subordinating conjunctions: anywhere, everywhere, where, or wherever. Here are some examples:

Adverbs of Manner

An adverb of manner states how something is done. An adverb of manner often starts with one of the following subordinating conjunctions: as, like, or the way. Here are some examples:

Adverbs of Degree or Comparison

An adverb of degree states to what degree something is done or offers a comparison. An adverb of degree often starts with one of the following subordinating conjunctions: than, as...as, so...as, or the...the. Here are some examples: Sometimes, the verb in an adverb of degree is understood (i.e., not present). For example: .

Adverbs of Condition

An adverb of condition states the condition for the main idea to come into effect. An adverb of condition often starts with if or unless. Here are some examples:

Adverbs of Concession

An adverb of concession offers a statement which contrasts with the main idea. An adverb of concession often starts with one of the following subordinating conjunctions: though, although, even though, while, whereas, or even if. Here are some examples:

Adverbs of Reason

An adverb of reason offers a reason for the main idea. An adverb of reason often starts with one of the following subordinating conjunctions: as, because, given, or since. Here are some examples:

Properties of an Adverbial Clause

Here are the properties of an adverbial clause:

Offset a Fronted Adverbial Clause with a Comma

When an adverbial clause is at the start of a sentence, it is usual to follow it with a comma.

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See Also

What are adverbs? What are clauses? What are phrases? What are adjuncts? What is a dependent clause? What are subordinating conjunctions? Glossary of grammatical terms