Adverbial Clause


Adverbial clause comes under the category of dependent clause and it acts as an adverb in a sentence. In a sentence, adverbial clause usually modifies the verb, an adjective or another adverb. Sometimes, the adverbial clauses start with a subordinate conjunction. This subordinate conjunction is also known as the trigger word. However, an adverbial clause also contains a subject and a verb.

  1. Peter, the music teacher, met with the principal after she completed the meeting.
  2. Paul talks carefully, in order to hide his intention.
  3. Keep practicing the Math sample papers until I tell you to stop.
  4. When Tom returned from the market, he knows the fact. 

The function of adverb is to modify the verbs, adjectives as well as adverbs. These examples show the differences between adverb, adverb phrases and adverb clauses.

  1. I saw the movie in theater yesterday.
  2. I saw the movie on Sunday
  3. I saw the movie before I went to my native place.
In the first sentence, the word ‘yesterday’ is an adverb. In the second sentence, ‘on Sunday’ is the adverb phrase and in the third sentence, ‘before I went to my native place’ is the adverb clause.

Adverbial Clause Definition

An adverbial clause is a group of words that play the role of an adverb. This clause also comprises a subject and a verb. This clause is a dependent clause and it connects with the other clause by using a subordinating conjunction. 
However, subordinating conjunctions are used based on the purpose of the clause. Some subordinating conjunctions such as until, before, soon, whenever that refer time. On the other hand, unless, in case, if, even if refer condition and so, in order that, because are related to cause and effect. Though, although, whereas and even though are used to exhibit contrast.

Adverbial Clause Examples

Adverbial clause is an adjunct and hence, without the adverbial clause, the meaning of the sentence will remain same. The adverbial clause cannot stand alone as it does not give a complete thought or idea. 

Some examples are given below.
  1. As soon as you complete the syllabus, you can start practicing guess papers.
  2. The train had left the station before he reached.
  3. He laughs as it is a joke.
  4. I usually walk before the sun sets.
  5. She always talks to me the way a teacher talks to her students.
  6. He is as smart as he thinks.
  7. Whether you like it or not, you have to practice Math question papers on a regular basis.
  8. Unless you run fast, you will miss the train. 

Most of the time, an adverbial clause is separated from the other clause by using a comma.Here are two sentences that contain adverbial clauses with and without commas.
  • Whether you like or not, you have to practice old test papers rigorously.
  • Joanna enjoyed the vacation more than her husband.
  • The part which are marked are adverbial clauses.

Types of Adverbial Clause

Adverbial clause is traditionally classified based on the meaning. Based on the actions or senses of the conjunctions, the adverbial clauses are divided into groups.

Type of clause: Time (common conjunctions: when, after, before, until, till, etc.)
Example: Her goldfish died when she was in 6th standard.
John came to home after he completed 12th standard.

Type of clause: Condition (common conjunctions: if, unless, etc.)
If you practice old question papers, you can easily understand the question pattern and marking system of the concerned board.

Type of clause: Purpose (common conjunctions: so that, in order to, etc.)
Example: You must practice old question papers so that you can understand the question pattern in a better manner.

Type of clause: Reason (common conjunctions: since, because, as, etc.)
Example: I want to support him because he is honest.

Type of clause: Concession (common conjunctions: although, though, while, etc.)
Example: While preparing for the final exams, students must revise the syllabus thoroughly.

Type of clause: Comparison (common conjunctions: as, than, etc.)
Example: Jack can speak English as fluently as his teacher.

Type of clause: Place (common conjunctions: where, anywhere, everywhere etc.)
Example: Abi is happy where she is now.

Type of clause: Manner (common conjunctions: as, like, etc.)
Example: I was not allowed to do the things as I liked to do.

Type of clause: results (common conjunctions: so that, etc.)
Example: I want to improve my time management skill so that I practice old test papers during the exam preparation.