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    Grammatical Form of English Adverb Clauses

    Grammatical Form of English Adverb Clauses

    Similar to the adverb and adverb phrases in grammatical function, an adverb clause is a dependent or subordinate clause that consists of a subordinating conjunction followed by a clause and that performs an adverbial function.

    Conjunctions are “words that link words, phrases, and clauses.” A subordinating conjunction is a conjunction that introduces a subordinate or dependent clause. Some of the subordinating conjunctions in English that introduce adverb clauses are:

    • after
    • although
    • as
    • as if
    • as long as
    • as soon as
    • as though
    • because
    • before
    • even if
    • even though
    • how
    • if
    • if only
    • in order that
    • lest
    • now that
    • once
    • provided
    • rather than
    • since
    • so that
    • than
    • that
    • though
    • unless
    • until
    • when
    • whenever
    • where
    • whereas
    • wherever
    • whether
    • while

    For example:

    • When you turn left, I turn right.
    • You can dance even if you think you cannot.
    • Because I ate the bad cheese, I ended up in the emergency room with food poisoning.
    • I will check food dates better lest I get sick again.

    Using Adverb Clauses

    Adverb clauses perform only one grammatical function within sentences in the English language: adjunct adverbial. An adjunct adverbial is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes an entire clause by providing additional information about time, place, manner, condition, purpose, reason, result, and concession. For example:

    • After the cake cools, we will have some dessert.
    • So that she would not ruin the carpet, she took off her muddy shoes.
    • Although you gave your best effort, you did not pass the test.
    • She graduated with honors because she worked hard.
    • You will be late for work unless you hustle.
    • He could buy a new car if he made the effort to save some money.

    An adverb clause is a subordinate clause that performs an adverbial function and consists of a subordinating conjunction followed by a clause. Adverb clauses function only as adjunct adverbials.


    Adverb clauses in English grammar are subordinate or dependent clauses that consist of a subordinating conjunction followed by a clause and that perform adverbial grammatical functions.

    Adverb clause is a grammatical form.

    The only grammatical function performed by adverb clauses is adjunct adverbial.

    All adverb clauses are finite. Finite clauses contain conjugated verbs functioning as predicates.


    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. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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