Adverbial Clause: Definition, Examples, Usage & Exercise 

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Have you ever wondered why you need to specify extra descriptions even when your sentences make a perfect sentence without them? If yes, then you must have come across adverbs or to say, an adverbial clause in those sentences. They are not needed yet very important to communicate the ‘when, where, why, and how of the main clause in a sentence. But, there is more to learn about the adverbial clauses than what meets your eyes. So, if you are keen on mastering this indispensable tool of English grammar, hop on and read along to learn more about it through the lens of examples and fun exercises. 

Must Read: What are Clauses?

What is an Adverbial Clause? – Definition

As mentioned above, adverbs are versatile words that modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. But sometimes, even adverbs do not cut it, that is where adverbial clauses step in to add richness and precision to your writing. They specify the time, place, manner, degree, condition, or reason of an action within a sentence. In other words, these are like mini-sentences  tucked inside a larger one to answer questions like ‘when?’, ‘where?’, ‘how?’, ‘to what extent?’, ‘under what condition?’, or ‘Why?’.

Example: 

  • She ran (verb) as fast as she could
  • The cake, which was freshly baked, looked delicious (adjective)

[Note: Adverbial clause – underlined, modified word – bold]

Learn all about Adverbs – Definition, Types, Use Here!

8 Types of Adverbial Clauses with Examples

Moreover, adverbial clauses require subordinating conjunctions for their introduction like when, while, since, although, if, unless, as, and, where, among others. However, these introductory conjunctions vary depending on the type of adverbial clause used in a sentence. Read in brief about these types along with examples to get an edge over their usage. 

  1. Adverbial Clause of Time ⏰

Words: When, before, after, since, while, until.

Example: She will go to the store when she finishes her homework.

2. Adverbial Clause of Place 🏡

Words: Where, wherever, whenever

Example: We found the treasure where the map led us.

3. Adverbial Clause of Reason 🦉 

Words: Because, since, as, so that, for

Example: She studied hard so she could get a good grade.

4. Adverbial Clause of Condition 🌇/🌆

Words: If, unless, provided that, in case

Examples: If I win the lottery, I’ll travel the world!

5. Adverbial Clause of Concession 😶‍🌫️

Words: Although, even though, while

Example: Although he was tired, he finished his work.

6. Adverbial Clause of Purpose 🎯

Words: So that, so that, to

Example: She spoke loudly so everyone could hear her.

7. Adverbial Clause of Manner 👼

Words: As, as if, just as, like

Example: She danced gracefully as a swan.

8. Adverbial Clause of Result 📑

Words: So, that, therefore, as a result

Example: She practised so much that she became a champion.

English With Ashish

Adverbial Clause Examples

Just in case you feel a little underconfident, go through the following example sentences and analyse the uses of adverbial clauses within them:

  1. Time: Before the sunset, the hikers reached the summit.
  2. Place: We stopped for lunch where the river met the forest.
  3. Reason: He offered his help because he knew she was struggling.
  4. Condition: If you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.
  5. Concession: Even though it was raining, they decided to go for a walk.
  6. Purpose: They whispered so as not to disturb the sleeping baby.
  7. Manner: He spoke as if he had all the answers.
  8. Result: She studied diligently, so she aced the exam.
  9. Comparative: He ran faster than anyone else in the race.
  10. Relative: The book which won the award was a captivating read.

Read more on What are Adverbial Phrases (& Clauses)? Here!

Adverbial Clause Exercise for Practice

Let’s wrap up this session while solving this practice exercise and see how far you have come in your learnings. All you have to do is complete each sentence with the appropriate adverbial clause or phrase. 

  1. She went to bed early ____________.
  2. They played soccer in the park ____________.
  3. ____________ she had finished her work, she went for a walk.
  4. He spoke softly ____________.
  5. ____________ it rains, the flowers bloom.
  6. She arrived late ____________.
  7. ____________ the sun sets, the stars begin to appear.
  8. He studied diligently ____________.
  9. ____________ they arrived, the party had already started.
  10. ____________ She was feeling unwell, so she decided to stay home.

Answer Key 

  1. because she had an early morning appointment
  2. after finishing their homework
  3. After
  4. so as not to wake the baby
  5. Whenever
  6. her car broke down on the way
  7. In order to pass the exam
  8. By the time
  9. Since

FAQs

What common words are adverbial clauses?

Some of the common words known as adverbial clauses are when, while, where, since, although, because, if, unless, after, before, as, though, and so on. 

How do you identify an adverbial clause? 

To identify an adverbial clause, you need to follow these simple steps:-

  1. Look for subordinating conjunctions
  2. Examine the sentence structure
  3. Look for questions such as – when, where, how, and why concerning the rest of the sentence. 

How many types of adverbial clauses are there?

There are eight types of adverbial clauses in English grammar, which are – adverbial clauses of time, place, condition, reason, purpose, manner, and result. 

Explore more reads on Adverbs below!

Interrogative Adverbs Adverbs of Frequency
Conjunctive Adverbs Adverb of Time
Adverbs for Manner Adjective vs. Adverb

This was all about the Adverbial clauses, its rules and examples. Hopefully, you found it to be helpful and informative. For more such informative reads, stay tuned to Leverage Edu!

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