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:
- as if
- as long as
- as soon as
- as though
- even if
- even though
- if only
- in order that
- now that
- rather than
- so that
- 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.