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The Adjunct Adverbial in English Grammar

The Adjunct Adverbial in English Grammar

Adjunct adverbials are words, phrases, and clauses that modify an entire clause by providing additional information about time, place, manner, condition, purpose, reason, result, and concession. Four grammatical forms can perform the grammatical function of adjunct adverbial in the English language. The four grammatical forms that can function as the adjunct adverbial are:

The following sections define and exemplify the four grammatical forms that can function as the adjunct adverbial in English grammar.

Adverb Phrases as Adjunct Adverbials

The first grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of adjunct adverbial is the adverb phrase. Adverb phrases are phrases in which an adverb functions as the head of the phrase plus any modifiers. For example, the following italicized adverb phrases function as adjunct adverbials:

  • Stubbornly, the little girl refused to eat her vegetables at dinner.
  • Eagerly, my baby brother told me what he wanted for Christmas.
  • James answered my call immediately.
  • Quietly, the thief snuck into the vacant building.

Prepositional Phrases as Adjunct Adverbials

The second grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of adjunct adverbial is the prepositional phrase. Prepositional phrases are phrases that consist of a preposition plus another word, phrase, or clause functioning as the prepositional complement. For example, the following italicized prepositional phrases function as adjunct adverbials:

  • She failed the test because of her illness.
  • The jogger ran under the boardwalk.
  • He finished his essay despite his procrastination.
  • The little girl piled her toys next to the table.

Postpositional phrases also function as adjunction adverbials. A postpositional phrase consists of a postposition plus another word, phrase, or clause functioning as a postpositional complement. Many grammars identify phrases that contain a postposition as the head erroneously as a prepositional phrase. However, both prepositions and postpositions are subcategories of adpositions. Prepositional complements follow the preposition. Postpositional complements precede the postposition. For example, the following italicized postpositional phrases function as adjunct adverbials:

  • My husband and I bought our house six years ago.
  • The best friends lived a mile apart.
  • The baby cries the whole night through.
  • The evidence notwithstanding, the consensus is that the jury will not reach a verdict.

Adverb Clauses as Adjunct Adverbials

The third grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of adjunct adverbial is the adverb clause. Adverb clauses are subordinate or dependent clauses that consist of a subordinating conjunction followed by a clause and that perform adverbial grammatical functions. For example, the following italicized adverb clauses function as adjunct adverbials:

  • So that he would not ruin the carpet, he took off his shoes.
  • Although you gave your best effort, you did not win the match.
  • She passed the course because she worked hard.
  • You will be late for work unless you hurry.

Noun Phrases as Adjunct Adverbials

The fourth grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of adjunct adverbial is the noun phrase. Noun phrases are defined as phrases that consist of a noun or pronoun plus any modifiers, complements, and determiners. For example, the following italicized noun phrases function as adjunct adverbials:

  • Tomorrow we head out to Europe.
  • My daughter starts school Monday.
  • You should brush your teeth every evening.
  • Yesterday morning the puppy woke up early.

An adjunct adverbial is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies an entire clause by providing additional information about time, place, manner, condition, purpose, reason, result, and concession. The four grammatical forms that can function as the adjunct adverbial in the English language are adverb phrases, prepositional phrases, adverb clauses, and noun phrases.

Summary

Adjunct adverbials are words, phrases, and clauses that modify an entire clause by providing additional information about time, place, manner, condition, purpose, reason, result, and concession.

Adjunct adverbial is a grammatical function.

The grammatical forms that can function as the adjunct adverbial in English grammar are the adverb phrase, prepositional phrase, adverb clause, and noun phrase.

Adjunct adverbials are not constituents of either the subject or the predicate.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. Introduction to the Grammar of English. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1984.

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