Adverbs have many functions in the English language. They modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. “Modify” means to add information to the meaning of a word or to describe it. Adverbs tell when, where, why, how, and to what extent things happened or happen.
Many adverbs end with “ly” so they are easy to spot, like easily, completely, deeply, and neatly.
- Adverbs that tell how something happened include: patiently, gracefully, humanely, and poorly.
- Adverbs that tell where something happened are: abroad, away, outside, and somewhere.
- To say when something happened, use adverbs like: never, daily, irregularly, and often.
- In explaining to what extent something occurred, use adverbs such as: extremely, slightly, almost, and somewhat.
A clause is a group of words with a subject and a predicate. Clauses can be independent or dependent.
- An independent clause makes a complete thought, which is a sentence.
- A dependent clause can not stand alone and is also called a subordinate clause.
There are three types of dependent clauses:
- Noun clauses function like a noun, and can be a subject or an object.
- Adjective clauses, or relative clauses, modify nouns and always follow them.
- Adverb clauses act just like adverbs and modify by showing when, where, how, why, and to what extent things happen.
To know how to use adverb clause, you need to understand that adverb clauses are concerned with the relationships of time, condition, contrast, and cause and effect.
In every adverb clause, the subordinate conjunction is at the beginning and it keeps the adverb clause from being a compete thought.
Following are some examples of subordinate conjunctions grouped by function:
- Time - Some subordinate conjunctions answer the question, “When?” Examples include: after, as, as soon as, as long as, before, by the time, once, since, until, when, whenever, and while.
- Condition - Subordinate conjunctions can ask the question, “Under what conditions?” and include: even if, if, in case, in the event, only if, provided, providing, unless, and whether or not.
- Contrast - If you are showing a contrast, concession, or opposition, then some subordinating conjunctions you would use could be: although, even though, regardless of, though, whereas, and while.
- Cause and Effect - Subordinating conjunctions that are concerned with cause and effect would be: as, as long as, because, inasmuch as, in order that, now that, since, and so.
To summarize, you use an adverb clause just like you would an adverb.
Using an Adverb Clause
Following are sentences showing examples for each kind of adverb clause according to its function. The adverb clause is underlined.
- When I was in Arizona, I saw the Grand Canyon.
- Before you go to bed, please turn off the television.
- She stayed home until the storm had passed.
- People’s priorities always change after they have a baby.
- You need to practice if you want to learn to play the piano.
- Provided you are old enough, you should apply for the job.
- In case you have not heard, tomorrow is a holiday.
- In the event of a tornado, go to the bottom floor of your house.
- Even though school is hard, it is very important.
- Although I have a Master’s Degree, I work for minimum wage.
- You can start the barbecue while I finish making the sauce.
- You have to do the right thing, regardless of the consequences.
Cause and Effect
- As long as you live under my roof, you have to do chores.
- You should get a credit card since you have a job.
- In order that justice is served, he needs to make a confession.
- You need to pay taxes because it is the law.
To summarize, adverb clauses modify verbs and adjectives or participles if they are acting like an adjective.