- I saw Joe when I went to the store. (explicit subject 2)
- He sat quietly in order to appear polite. (implied subject he)
According to Sidney Greenbaum and Randolph Quirk, adverbial clauses function mainly as adjuncts or disjuncts. In these functions they are like adverbial phrases, but due to their potentiality for greater explicitness, they are more often like prepositional phrases (Greenbaum and Quirk,1990):
- We left after the speeches ended. (adverbial clause)
- We left after the end of the speeches. (adverbial prepositional phrase)
- I like to fly kites for fun.
Adverbial clauses modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. For example:
- Hardly had I reached the station when the train started to leave the platform.
|Type of Clause||Common Conjunctions||Function||Example|
|clauses of time||when, before, after, since, while, as, as long as, until,till, etc. (conjunctions that answer the question "when?"); the paired (correlative) conjunctions hardly ... when, scarcely ... when, barely ... when, no sooner ... than||These clauses are used to say when something happens by referring to a period of time or to another event.||Her goldfish died when she was young.|
|clause of condition||if, unless, lest||These clauses are used to talk about a possible or counterfactual situation and its consequences.||If they lose weight during an illness, they soon regain it afterwards.|
|clauses of purpose||in order to, so that, in order that||These clauses are used to indicate the purpose of an action.||They had to take some of his land so that they could extend the chuchyard.|
|clauses of reason||because, since, as, given||These clauses are used to indicate the reason for something.||I couldn't feel anger against him because I liked him too much.|
|clause of concession||although, though, while||These clauses are used to make two statements, one of which contrasts with the other or makes it seem surprising.||I used to read a lot although I don't get much time for books now.|
|clauses of place||where, wherever, anywhere, everywhere, etc. (conjunctions that answer the question "where?")||These clauses are used to talk about the location or position of something.||He said he was happy where he was.|
|clause of comparison||as||Adverb as is a clause which states comparison.||Johan can speak English as fluently as his teacher.|
|clauses of manner||as, like, the way||These clauses are used to talk about someone's behavior or the way something is done, answering the question, "How?".||I was never allowed to do things as I wanted to do them.|
|result clauses||so...that, such...that||These clauses are used to indicate the result of something.||My suitcase had become so damaged on the journey home that the lid would not stay closed.|
- Greenbaum, Sidney & Quirk, Randolph. A Student's Grammar of the English Language. Hong Kong: Longman Group (FE) Ltd, 1990.
- Sinclair, John (editor-in-chief). Collins Cobuild English Grammar. London and Glasgow: William Collins Sons & Co ltd, 1990.
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