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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 five grammatical forms that can function as the adjunct adverbial are:

    The following sections define and exemplify the five 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.

    Verb Phrases as Adjunct Adverbials

    The fifth grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of adjunct adverbial is the verb phrase. Verb phrases are defined as phrases that consist of a verb plus any auxiliary verbs, particles, modifiers, complements, and objects. For example, the following italicized verb phrases function as adjunct adverbials:

    • Sam found a lost wallet walking to the store.
    • Running on the ice, the child slipped and fell.
    • To bake cookies, begin with butter, sugar, and flour.
    • She opened the window to let in some fresh air.

    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 five grammatical forms that can function as the adjunct adverbial in the English language are adverb phrases, prepositional phrases, adverb clauses, noun phrases, and verb 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, noun phrase, and verb 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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