1. What is an adverbial clause?
An adverbial clause is a clause that relates to, or changes, the verb in the main clause.
An adverbial clause must go with a main clause.
Some adverbial clauses may be shortened. These are reduced adverbial clauses.
2. Different Adverbial Clauses
There are several different types of adverbial clause:
1. time clause
2. conditional clause
3. clause of purpose
4. clause of reason
5. result clause
6. concessive clause
7. clause of manner
8. place clause
|Type of clause||Example|
|time clause||I went to school after I ate breakfast.|
|conditional clause||If the weather was snowy I wouldn’t go to school.|
|clause of purpose||I went to the school so that I could pay the tuition.|
|clause of reason||I went to school because I needed to give a book back.|
|result clause||I went to school so early that it had not opened yet.|
|concessive clause||Unless I was ill, I always went to school.|
|clause of manner||I went to school as morbidly as a clown that had been fired.|
|place clause||I went to school wherever my parents lived.|
3. Reduced Adverbial Clauses
Some adverbial clauses may be reduced (shortened) if the subject is the same in the adverbial clause and in the main clause.
This is usually done by dropping the subject and using the gerund/…ing form.
|Clause||Normal adverbial clause||Reduced adverbial clause|
|time clause||1. I went to school after I ate breakfast.|
2. He took the bus after he crashed his car.
3. He was playing air guitar while he was dancing.
|1. I went to school after eating breakfast.|
2. He took the bus after crashing his car.
3. He was playing air guitar while dancing.
|Clause of purpose|
* remove so/because
* add desire verb (want, need, etc.)
|1. I went to the school so that I could pay the tuition.|
2. He killed the rabbit so he could eat it.
3. We jumped into the lake in order to get clean.
|1. Needing to pay my tuition, I went to school.|
2. Wanting to eat it, he killed the rabbit.
3. Wanting to get clean, we jumped into the lake.
|Clause of reason|
* remove reason subordinator (because, since)
* add …ing verb at beginning
|1. Because we were so tired, we fell asleep immediately.|
2. Since he was coming to the house anyway, he thought he would bring back their DVD.
3. Because she was so beautiful, she didn’t think she needed to study.
|1. Being so tired, we fell asleep immediately.|
2. Coming to the house anyway, he thought he would bring back their DVD.
3. Being so beautiful, she didn’t think she needed to study.
4. Reduced adverbial clauses in literature
Reduced adverbial clauses are a common technique for authors.
This is because it allows to give greater detail to the action.
Anna left for the cafe knowing she would see Grigor. Being a woman with a kind heart she did not want to upset him, although there was a piece of her that wanted to curse him to his face. He had made her life harder with his rumours and inneundo, and deserved punishment. As she walked she thought of all the ways he could suffer: a word to Harper, perhaps, or a release of his secret. Yes, she could punish him if she wanted, and she arrived at the cafe having made herself quite cross and quite wicked.
1. Remembering that adverbial clauses can only be reduced if the subject is the same in the adverbial clause and the main clause, can these sentences be reduced?
a) After we went to the zoo, we went to the park.
b) They left the restaurant before she arrived.
c) After I got out of the taxi, I ran to the train.
d) While I was cleaning the house, a burglar upstairs was stealing my money.
e) Because she is always there, he loves to go to that nightclub.
f) Since he was going in the same direction, he decided to give her a lift.
2. Reduce these sentences that have time clauses:
a) He took the medicine after he was shouted at by his mum.
b) Before they walked up the hill, they ate their lunch.
c) It snowed last night after it had been warm for so long.
3. Reduce these sentences that use adverbial clauses of reason:
a) Because we had no money, we walked.
b) Since the car was so old, it didn’t sell for much money.
c) Because the TV show was a failure, it got cancelled.An adverbial clause is a clause that relates to, or changes, the verb in the main clause
(an adverbial clause must go with a main clause).