English Grammar Basic Grammar and syntax

Clause and types of adverbs: examples and rules

Clause and types of adverbs: examples and rules

What is an adverbial clause in English?

Adverbial Clause Definition: An adverbial clause, also known as an adverbial clause, is a dependent clause that functions as an adverb in a sentence. It modifies the main verb and tells us WHY, WHEN, WHERE and HOW an action occurs. Since it is a dependent clause, it begins with a subordinate conjunction.

Here is a list of subordinating conjunctions that are used in adverbial clauses when answering the following questions:

HOW as if
WHY since, as, because, then, because of, now that, since, for what
WHEN when, whenever, after, before, from, until, while, as soon as, as long as, once
WHERE where, anywhere, everywhere

Subordinating conjunctions in an adverbial clause

Note that an adverbial clause is commonly known as an adverbial clause, since it is not a regular adverb but functions as an adverb in a sentence.


  • She left the job because she was not happy with the new management .
    (The adverb clause ‘because she was unhappy with the new management’ answers WHY the action happened: she left the job.)
  • You will find us where we used to play cricket .
    (The adverb clause ‘where we used to play cricket’ answers WHERE the action will happen.)
  • Children can watch TV after finishing homework .
    (The adverb clause ‘after they finish the task’ answers WHEN the action can occur.)
  • They were kissing in the park as if no one was there . and.
    (The adverb clause ‘as if no one was there’ answers HOW the action was happening: kissing.)
  • We’ll let you play if you pass the aptitude test .
    (The clause of the adverb ‘If it passes the aptitude test’ tells us in what condition the main verb happens.)

Types of adverbial clauses

  1. Adverbial clause of place
  2. Adverbial clause of time
  3. Reason/purpose adverbial clause
  4. Contrast adverbial clause
  5. Adverbial condition clause

Adverb Clause of Place
An adverbial clause of place answers the question WHY; tells us the place of an action.

Conjunctions used: where, anywhere, everywhere


  • You will find us where we used to party back in the days .
  • You can park your car wherever you want .
  • I see you wherever I go .
  • It’s my house. You can sleep wherever you want .
  • My dog ​​koto follows me wherever he wants me to go.

Adverb Clause of Time
An adverbial clause of time modifies a verb and tells us WHEN it takes place.

Conjunctions used: after, before, until, for the time, as soon as, when, whenever, since


  • I’ll call you after the meeting is over .
  • Make sure you get back to your seat before the boss arrives .
  • Everyone started crying as soon as I gave my resignation .
  • She gets angry every time I call her Poopoo .
  • I haven’t seen my friend Ronny since we got into an argument at a party .
  • We will be gone when you return home .

Adverb Reason/Purpose Clause

A reason/purpose adverbial clause modifies a verb and tells us WHY the action occurs. It tells us the motive or purpose of the action.

Used conjunctions: because, since, as, then, so that, that


  • Jon quit the job because he wasn’t happy with his salary.
  • We didn’t celebrate his birthday because one of our friends had a brutal accident
  • Since it was pouring with rain , we didn’t move.
  • He is working day and night so that his family can live happily.
  • She was happythat we came out to support her.

Adverb Clause of Contrast
A contrasting adverbial clause modifies a verb by giving contrasting information.

Conjunctions used: Although, although, although


  • Although she had a high fever , she kept working.
  • The beggar gave me the only hamburger he had even though he was hungry .
  • Although she is famous and beautiful , I will not marry her.
  • The company did not consider her application , even though she performed better than all the other candidates for the position .
  • They kicked us out of the hallway thinking we all had gate passes .

Adverb Clause of Condition
An adverbial clause of condition modifies a verb by saying in what condition it happens.

Conjunctions used: if, only if, unless


  • If you apologize to her , I’ll let you work here.
  • They won’t give her car back unless she repays the loan .
  • My father promised to buy me a bicycle if I pass the next test .
  • If it rains today , we will go out dancing.

Composition of an adverbial clause

We need the following three components, at least, to form an adverbial clause:

  • Subordinate conjunction (from the list above)
  • Subject (noun/pronoun)
  • Verb

I’ll call you when I’m free .

Subordinate conjunction = when
Subject = I
Verb = get
Plugin = free

If a dependent clause consisting of any of the above subordinate conjunctions and a combination of subject and verb modifies a verb by indicating its place, time, reason, grant and condition, it is called an adverb or adverbial clause, since it functions as a adverb.

How to find an adverbial clause in a sentence?

If any part of a sentence (consisting of a subordinate conjunction and a subject-verb combination) gives information about the main verb of the sentence, it is either an adverbial clause or an adverbial clause.

To be more specific, if a clause tells us about the time, place, reason, purpose, condition or concession of the main verb, it is an adverbial clause.

Try to find the adverbial clauses in the following examples, if any:

  • I will return your money as soon as my salary is credited.
  • She will marry when she is ready.
  • If they really love you, they’ll come here to see you.
  • She failed the test even though she had prepared well.
  • My mother comes with me wherever I go.

Adverb clauses:

  • As soon as my salary is credited (talking about the moment when the main verb occurs“return“)
  • When she is ready (modifying the main verb by telling us the time it happens)
  • If they really love you (giving information about the main verb in terms of a condition)
  • Although she had prepared well (modifying the main verb by giving contrasting information about it)
  • Wherever it goes (modifying the main verb and saying where the main verb happens)

NOTE: ask“when/where/why/how“to the main verb to find out the clause of the adverb.

An adverb clause also modifies an adjective

An adverbial clause usually modifies a verb, but it can also modify an adjective. Study the following examples:

  • I was sad because she couldn’t come to my birthday party (modifying the adjective ‘sad’)
  • The teacher was angry because she didn’t do well on the test . (modifying the adjective ‘angry’)

Adverbial clauses and commas

When adverbial clauses come at the beginning of a sentence, it is better to use a comma after. The comma makes it clear where the adverb clause ends. Study the following examples:

  • After the match is over , we will have a party.
  • If you become the team leader , everyone will be happy.

But when adverb clauses come at the end of a sentence, there is no need to use a comma.

  • We will have a party after the match is over .
  • Everyone will be happy if he becomes the team leader .

Important points to note:

  1. Adverbial clauses begin with subordinate conjunctions such as when, after, before, if, as soon as, though, because.
  2. Adverbial clauses modify the main verbs by telling us WHEN, WHERE, HOW and WHY the action occurs.
  3. Adverbial clauses are also called adverbial clauses , since they function adverbially.

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