Adverbial Clauses

(Forms and Functions of Subordinate Clauses)

Subordinate clauses can be classified into three main forms based on their functions within a sentence: nominal clauses, relative clauses, and adverbial clauses.


Nominal Clauses (Substantive Clauses):

These clauses function as nouns within a sentence.

They can serve as the subject, object, or complement of a sentence.


What he said surprised everyone.

(Nominal clause as the subject)


Relative Clauses (Adjective Clauses):

These clauses provide additional information about a noun in the main clause.

They are introduced by relative pronouns (e.g., who, which, that).


The book that I borrowed from the library is fascinating.

(Relative clause providing information about the book)


Adverbial Clauses:

These clauses function as adverbs, modifying the main clause by providing information about time, place, manner, condition, etc.

They are introduced by subordinating conjunctions (e.g., because, although, when, while).


Although it was raining, they decided to go for a walk.

(Adverbial clause indicating a contrasting condition)






Adverb Clauses:

Adverbial clauses are groups of words that function as adverbs in a sentence.

They provide additional information about the action in the main clause, answering questions such as when, where, why, how, to what extent, or under what conditions.

Adverbial clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunctions, and they cannot stand alone as complete sentences.

Adverbial clauses modify the main clause in a sentence by providing information about time, place, manner, condition, purpose, contrast, or reason.




Types of Adverbial Clauses:


Time Clauses:

After she finished her homework, she went to bed.



Place Clauses:

Wherever you go, I will follow.



Manner Clauses:

She completed the project as if she were an expert.



Condition Clauses:

If it rains, we will stay indoors.



Purpose Clauses:

She studied hard so that she could pass the exam.



Contrast Clauses:

Although it was sunny, she decided to stay inside.



Reason Clauses:

Since he was feeling unwell, he didn’t attend the meeting.





Subordinating Conjunctions:

The introduction of adverbial clauses is typically done through subordinating conjunctions.

Some common subordinating conjunctions include:


After, before, when, while (Time)

Where, wherever (Place)

As, as if, as though (Manner)

If, unless, provided that (Condition)

So that, in order that (Purpose)

Although, though, even though (Contrast)

Because, since, as (Reason)


Adverbial clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunctions.

They cannot stand alone as complete sentences.

When an adverbial clause begins a sentence, a comma usually follows it.

Main Clause:

She went to the store.


Adverbial Clause:

After she finished her work, she went to the store.






Adverb Clauses Placement:

Adverb clauses can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence.

The placement depends on the emphasis you want to give to the adverbial information.


Beginning: If you want to emphasize the adverbial clause.

Example: When the sun sets, we will start the bonfire.


Middle: If the adverbial clause is less important, it can be placed in the middle.

Example: We will start the bonfire when the sun sets in the evening.


End: This is a common placement when the adverbial clause provides additional information.

Example: We will start the bonfire in the evening, when the sun sets.






Participle Clauses:

Participle clauses use a present participle (-ing form) or a past participle (-ed or irregular form) and function similarly to adverbial clauses.


Present Participle ( -ing):


(While)Running late, she hurried to the meeting.


Past Participle ( -ed or irregular):


Exhausted from the long journey, they finally reached their destination.





Conjunctions used with Participle Clauses:

No specific conjunctions introduce participle clauses; they often modify the main clause without a conjunction.

However, you can use a subordinating conjunction like while, after, or before when it is necessary to indicate the time relationship between the actions in the main clause and the participle clause.


For example:

While waiting for the bus, she read a book.

He left the room after finishing his presentation.


In these cases, the conjunctions (while, after) are introducing the adverbial participle clause by indicating the temporal relationship between the two actions.

But it’s important to note that many participle clauses simply attach to the main clause without a conjunction.






Infinitive Clauses as Adverbials for Purpose:

Infinitive clauses are used to express the purpose of an action.

 Example: She worked hard, to pass the exam.


Conjunctions used with Infinitive Clauses for Purpose: To, in order to, so as to.

 Example: He studied diligently in order to gain knowledge.








Adverbial (Adverb) Clauses

Noun-Modifying (Adjective) Clauses

Nominal (Noun) Clauses

Subordinate Clauses

Complex Sentences

Negative Declarative Sentences: Structure, Usage, and Style

The Interjection