Adverbial clauses are dependent clauses (not whole sentences) added to a main clause to give details, or change, the verb.

Sentences can use more than one adverbial clause.

Many different types

There are many different types of adverbial clause:

– time clauses
– reason clauses (because…)
– conditional clauses (if…)
– clauses of purpose (so…)
– concessive clauses (although…)
– place clauses
– clauses of manner (like…)

Time clauses

a) I went to school after I had eaten my breakfast.

main clause: I went to school
time clause: after I had eaten my breakfast

b) They came to visit us before they flew back.

main clause: They came to visit us.
time clause: before they flew back.

Reason clauses

a) I went to school because I had to take a test.

main clause: I went to school
reason clause: because I had to take a test

b) They came to visit us as we hadn’t seen each other for a long time.

main clause: They came to visit us
reason clause: as we hadn’t seen each other for a long time.

Conditional clauses

a) If it wasn’t snowing I went to school

main clause: I went to school
conditional clause: if it wasn’t snowing

b) They came to visit us unless they were too busy.

main clause: They came to visit us
conditional clause: unless they were too busy

Clauses of purpose

a) I went to school so I could hand back my books.

main clause: I went to school
clause of purpose: so I could hand back my books

b) They came to visit us in order to give us our wedding present.

main clause: They came to visit us
clause of purpose: in order to give us our wedding present

Concessive clauses

a) Although I had a cold, I went to school.

main clause: I went to school
concessive clause: although I had a cold

b) Though they were very busy they came to visit us.

main clause: they came to visit us
concessive clause: though they were very busy

Place clauses

a) Wherever my family lived, I went to school.

main clause: I went to school
place clause: wherever my family lived

b) They came to visit us everywhere that we lived.

main clause: They came to visit us
place clause: everywhere that we lived

Clauses of manner

a) I went to school the way I always did.

main clause: I went to school
clause of manner: the way I always did

b) They came to visit us like they always used to.

main clause: They came to visit us
clause of manner: like they always used to

Exercises

Try to add different kinds of adverbial clauses to the following main clauses:

1. They play football in the park.
2. She cooked a beautiful dinner.
3. We watched TV.
4. The bike was stolen by a man.
5. The shop will open.