While being in the academe, you often hear discussions about the parts of speech. And you get confused about the different roles each of those play in sentence construction and overall grammar. It can get confusing as one is closely related to each other; you might mistake one for another. Therefore, it is really important to get to know and understand the function of each parts of speech.
As you advance further in the academe, you may also have encountered a discussion about clauses, and those are the independent and dependent clauses. With this is mind, one type of a dependent clause or subordinate clause is an adverb or adverbial clause. This guide will discuss all about an adverbial clause along with informative examples you can use as guide and reference.
An adverb clause is one of the three types of dependent clause or subordinate clause. An adverb clause or adverbial clause is a group of words that function as an adverb. Since it functions as an adverb it modifies verbs, adverbs, and adjectives by telling when, where, why, how, how much, and under what condition. Simply put, it modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb or a word group; it is also often used to show degree, manner, place, or time.
However, since an adverb clause is still a subordinate clause, it must have a subordinating conjunction to connect them to the other clause or the independent clause. The subordinating conjunction will let you identify an adverb clause easily. In addition, you have to bear in mind that the conjunctions you use are categorized by the purpose of your clause. To make it clearer for you, here is a list of some of the conjunctions you can use depending on the purpose adverb clause:
You also have to remember that an adverb clause is usually separated from the other clause with a comma (,). For example:
Therefore, the main important things you have to remember about adverb clause is that they function like that of an adverb. It modifies verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs, and gives more information; it tells why, when, where, how, how much, and how often an action occurs; and it can move around in a sentence. Lastly, it usually has an adverbial subordinating conjunction at the beginning of the clause.
You may have noticed in the discussion above that an adverb clause is generally used for different purposes. With that in mind, there are generally four types of adverb clauses: time, cause, contrast, and condition. A discussion below is provided for better understanding of these types of adverb clauses:
Adverb clauses of time, often called as time clauses, put time in the action in the sentence. This means that this types of adverb clauses puts emphasis on the time when the action occurred. If you think that using the conjunction when is the only option you have to emphasize the time on an action, there are other conjunctions you can use such as before, after, since, while, and until. Examples of time clauses are as follows:
Although adverb clauses can be placed on a different position in relation to the main clause in a sentence, it still keeps the same meaning. The main thing that only changes is the use for punctuation, more specifically a comma (,).
An adverb clause of contrast presents an unexpected result between the information in the adverb clause and main clause. From the word contrast, this clause presents the difference between two ideas in a sentence. It is quite common for this type of adverb clause to use the conjunction though. However, there are still two other common conjunctions for contrast clauses, although and even though—which also mean “despite the fact that.” Although is used in a more formal setting, and though is generally used to out more emphasis.
However, it should be noted that when the although- or though-clause comes after the main clause, it can mean “but.” In addition, if the conjunction though is placed at the end of a sentence, it is not part of an adverb clause. Here are some examples of contrast adverb clauses:
Cause clauses, also called as reason clauses, are adverb clauses that show or present the reason or cause for something. The main clause usually gives the result of such cause. The most common subordinating conjunctions used for this type of adverb clause are because, since, as, and so.
Because is used when the reason for the reason is not yet known to the listener or reader. For example: He stayed awake until midnight because he had to finish his report. On the other hand, as- and since-clauses used when the listener or reader already knows the reason for the result or action. Example: As/Since it’s sunny today, we can ride our bikes in Central Park. It can also be stated like this: It’s sunny today, so we can ride our bikes in Central Park. Here are other examples of a cause clause:
Conditional clauses, also called conditionals or if clauses, are adverb clauses that show that one thing must be true for something else to be true. This means that one idea is made true in relation or in connection to the other. The main conjunctions used for a conditional clauses are if, unless, in case, and whether, and sometimes were and should often replace the conjunction if. Here are some examples of a conditional clause:
To help you better understand an adverb clause, here are various examples you can study and refer on:
In conclusion, learning about adverbial clauses is essential if you want to improve your overall communication skills. It will help you construct your sentences better that leads to you conveying and expressing your messages more clearly. Although you might get confused since it has a few similarities to other types of clauses, you need to remember that in the end it still functions as an adverb modifying an adjective, verb, or an adverb. It can also help you answer the 5 Ws and 1 H questions easily. We hope that this guide is of help to your learning process.