THE ADVERBIAL CLAUSES

THE ADVERBIAL CLAUSES

(a)    When we were in New York, we saw several plays.

(b)   We saw several plays when we were in New York.

When we were in New York is an adverb clause. It is a dependent clause. It cannot stand alone as a sentence. It must be connected to an independent clause.

Punctuation: When an adverb clause precedes an independent clause, as in (a), a comma is used to separate the clauses. When the adverb clause follows, as in (b), usually no comma is used.

(c)    Because he was sleepy, he went to bed.

(d)   He went to bed, because he was sleepy.

Like when, because introduces an adverb clause. Because he was sleepy is an adverb clause.
 
SUMMARY LIST OF WORDS USED TO INTRODUCE ADVERB CLAUSES
TIME CAUSE AND EFFECT OPPOSITION CONDITION
After

Before

When

While

As

By the time (that)

Since

Untill

As soon as

Once

As/so long as

Whenever

Every time (that)

The first time (that)

The last time (that)

The next time (that

Because

Since

Now that

As

As/so long as

Inasmuch as

 

 

So (that)

In order that

Even though

Although

Though

 

 

Whereas

While

If

Unless

Only if

Whether or not

Even if

Providing (that)

Provided (that)

In case (that)

In the event (that)

*words that introduce adverb clauses are called subordinating conjunctions.

USING ADVERB CLAUSES TO SHOW TIME RELATIONSHIPS.

after (a)    After the graduates, she will get a job.

(b)   After she (had) graduated, she got a job.

A present tense, not a future tense is used in an adverb clause of time. Notice examples (b) and (d).
Before (c)    I will leave before he comes.

(d)   I (had) left before he came.

When (e)    When I arrived, he was talking on the phone.

(f)     When I got there, he had already left.

(g)   When it began to rain, I stood under a tree.

(h)   When I was in Chicago, I visited the museums.

(i)     When I see him tomorrow, I will ask him.

When = at that time

(Notice: the different time relationships expressed by the tenses.

While

As

(j)     While I was walking home, it began to rain.

(k)   As I was walking home, it began to rain.

While, as = during that time.
By the time (l)     By the time he arrived, we had already left.

(m) By the time he comes, we will already have left.

By the time = one event is completed before another event.

(Notice: the use of the past perfect and future perfect in the main clause).

Since (n)   I haven’t seen him since he left this morning. Since = from that time to the present.

(Notice: the present perfect tense is used in the main clause.)

Untill

Till

(o)   We stayed there untill we finished our work.

(p)   We stayed there till we finished our work.

Untill, till = to that time and then no longer (Till is used primarily in speaking rather than writing).
As soon as

Once

(q)   As soon as it stops raining, we will leave.

(r)     Once it stops raining, we will leave.

As soon as, once = when one event happens, another event happens soon afterwards.
As long as

So long as

(s)    I will never speak to him again as long as I live.

(t)     I will never speak to him again so long as I live.

As long as, so long as = during all that time, from beginning to end.
Whenever

Every time

(u)   Whenever I see her, I say hello.

(v)   Every time I see her, I say hello.

Whenever = every time
The first time

The last time

The next time

(w) The first time I went to New York, I went to an opera.

(x)   I saw two plays the last time I went to New York.

(y)   The next time I go to New York, I am going to see a ballet.

Adverb clauses can be introduced by the following :

–          The first time

–          The second time

–          The third time

–          The last time

–          The next time.

USING ADVERB CLAUSES TO SHOW CAUSE AND EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS.

Because (a)    Because he was sleepy, he went to bed.

(b)   He went to bed because he was sleepy.

An adverb clause may precede or follow the independent clause. Notice the punctuation in (a) and (b).
Since (c)    Since he’s not interested in classical music, he decided not to go to the concert. In (c): since means because.
Now that (d)   Now that the semester is finished, I’m going to rest a few days and then take a trip. In (d): now that means because now. Now that is used for present and future situations.
As (e)    As she had nothing in particular to do, she called up a friend and asked her if she wanted to take in a movie. In (e): as means because.
As/so long as (f)     As long as (so long as) you’ve not busy, could you help me with this work? In (f): as long as means because.
Inasmuch as (g)   Inasmuch as the two government leaders could not reach an agreement, the possibilities for peace are still remote. In (g): inasmuch as means because. Inasmuch as is usually found only in formal writing and speech.

USING PREPOSITIONS TO SHOW CAUSE AND EFFECT: BECAUSE OF AND DUE TO.

(a)    Because the weather was cold, we stayed home. Because introduces an adverb clause; is followed by a subject and verb.

Because of  and due to are prepositions; they are followed by a noun object.

(b)   Because of the cold weather, we stayed home.

(c)    Due to the cold weather, we stayed home.

(d)   Due to the fact that the weather was cold, we stayed home. Sometimes, usually in more formal writing, due to is followed by a noun clause introduced by the fact that.
(e)    We stayed home because of the cold weather.

We stayed home due to the cold weather.

We stayed home due to the fact that the weather was cold.

Like adverb clauses, these phrases can also follow the main clause, as in (e).

USING TRANSITIONS TO SHOW CAUSE AND EFFECT: THEREFORE AND CONSEQUENTLY.

(a)    Jhon failed the test because he didn’t study.

(b)   Jhon didn’t study. Therefore, he failed the test.

(c)    Jhon didn’t study. Consequently, he failed the test.

(a), (b), and (c) have the same meaning. Therefore and consequently mean “as a result”. In grammar, they are called transitions (or conjunctive adverb). Transition connect the ideas between two sentences.
(d)   Jhon didn’t study. Therefore, he failed the test.

(e)    Jhon didn’t study. He, therefore, failed the test.

(f)     Jhon didn’t study. He failed the test, therefore.

POSITIONS OF A TRANSITION:

Transition + S + V (+ rest of sentence)

S+ transition + V (+ rest of sentence)

S + V (+ rest of sentence) + transition

A transition occurs in the second of two related sentences. Notice the patterns and punctuation in the examples. A period (NOT a comma) is used at the end of the first sentence. The transition has several possible positions in the second sentence. The transition is set off from the rest of the sentence by commas.
(g)   Jhon didn’t study, so he failed the rest. COMPARE: A transition (e.g., therefore) has different possible positions within the second sentence of a pair. A conjunction (e.g., so) has only one possible position: between the two sentences. So cannot move around in the second sentence as therefore can.

 

SUMMARY OF PATTERNS AND PUNCTUATION

ADVERB CLAUSE (a)    Because it was hot, we went swimming.

(b)   We went swimming because it was hot.

An adverb clause may precede or follow an independent clause.

Punctuation: a comma is used if the adverb clause comes first.

PREPOSITION (c)    Because of the hot weather, we went swimming.

(d)   We went swimming because of the hot weather.

A preposition is followed by a noun object, not by a subject and verb.

Punctuation: A comma is usually used if the prepositional phrase precedes the subject and verb of the independent clause.

TRANSITION (e)    It was hot. Therefore, we went swimming.

(f)     It was hot. We, therefore, went swimming.

(g)   It was hot. We went swimming, therefore.

A transition is used with the second sentence of a pair. It shows the relationship of the second idea to the first idea. A transition is moveable within the second sentence.

Punctuation: A period is used between the two independent clauses.* A comma may NOT be used to separate the clauses. Commas are usually used to set the transition off from the rest of the sentence.

CONJUNCTION (h)   It was hot, so we went swimming. A conjunction comes between two independent clauses.

Punctuation: Usually a comma is used immediately in front of a conjunction.

*A semicolon (;) may be used instead of a period between the two independent clauses.

It was hot; therefore, we went swimming.

It was hot; we, therefore, went swimming.

It was hot; we went swimming, therefore.

In general, a semicolon can be used instead of a period between any two sentences that are closely related in meaning. Example: Peanuts are not nuts; they are beans. Notice that a small letter, immediately followa a semicolon.

OTHER WAYS OF EXPRESSING CAUSE AND EFFECT: SUCH … THAT AND SO … THAT.

(a)    Because the weather was nice, we went to the zoo.

(b)   It was such nice weather that we went to the zoo.

(c)    The weather was so nice that we went to the zoo.

Examples (a), (b), and (c) have the same meaning.
(d)   It was such good coffee that I had another cup.

(e)    It was such a foggy day that we couldn’t see the road.

Such … that encloses a modified noun:

Such + adjective + noun + that

(f)     The coffee is so hot that I can’t drink it.

(g)   I’m so hungry that I could eat a horse.

So … that encloses an adjective or adverb:

So + adjective + that

Or

So + adverb + that

(h)   She speaks so fast that I   can’t understand her.

(i)     He walked so quickly that I couldn’t keep up with him.

(j)     She made so many mistakes that she failed the exam.

(k)   He has so few friends that he is always lonely.

(l)     She has so much money that she can buy whatever she wants.

(m) He had so little trouble with the test that he left twenty minutes early.

So … that is used with many, few, much, and little.
(n)   It was such a good book (that) I couldn’t put it down.

(o)   I was so hungry (that) I didn’t wait for dinner to eat something.

Sometimes, primarily in speaking, that is omitted.

EXPRESSING PURPOSE: USING SO THAT.

(a)    I turned off the TV in order to enable my roommate to study in peace and quiet.

(b)   I turned off the TV so (that) my roommate could study in peace and quiet.

In order to expresses purpose. In (a): I turned off the TV for a purpose. The purpose was to make it possible for my roommate to study in peace and quiet.

So that also expresses purpose.* it expresses the same meaning as in order to. The word “that” is often omitted, especially in speaking.

SO THAT + CAN or COULD

(c)    I’m going to cash a check so that I can buy my textbooks.

(d)   I cashed a check so that I could buy my textbooks.

So that is often used instead o in order to when the idea of ability is being expressed. Can is used in the adverb clause for a present/future meaning. In (c): so that I can buy = in order to be able to buy.

Could is used after so that in past sentences.**

SO THAT + WILL/SIMPLE PRESENT or WOULD

(e)    I’ll take my umbrella so that I won’t get wet.

(f)     I’ll take my umbrella so that I don’t get wet.

(g)   Yesterday I took my umbrella so that I wouldn’t get wet.

In (e): so that I won’t get wet = in order to make sure that I won’t get wet.

In (f): it is sometimes possible to use the simple present after so that in place of will; the simple present expresses a future meaning.

Would is used in past sentences.

*NOTE: in order that has the same meaning as so that but is less commonly used.

Example: I turned off the TV (in order) that my roommate could study in peace and quiet.

Both so that and in order that introduce adverb clauses. It is unusual, but possible, to put these adverb clauses at the beginning of sentence: so that my roommate could study in peace and quiet, I turned off the TV.

** Also possible but less common: the use of may or might in place of can or could: e.g., I cashed a check so that I might buy the textbooks.

REDUCTION OF ADVERB CLAUSES TO MODIFYING PHRASES

Some adverb clauses may also be changed to modifying phrases, and the ways in which the changes are made are the same:

  1. Omit the subject of the dependent clause and the be form of the verb.

(a)    ADVERB CLAUSE:                         While I was walking to class, I ran into an old friend.

(b)   MODIFYING PHRASE:       while walking to class, I ran into an old friend.

  1. Or, if there is no be form of a verb, omit the subject and change the verb to-ing.

(c)    ADVERB CLAUSE:             Before I left for work, I ate breakfast.

(d)   MODIFYING PHRASE:       Before leaving for work, I ate breakfast.

An adverb clause can be changed to a modifying phrase ONLY WHEN THE SUBJECT OF THE ADVERB CLAUSE AND THE SUBJECT OF THE MAIN CLAUSE ARE THE SAME. A modifying phrase that is the reduction of an adverb clause modifies the subject of the main clause. No change is possible if the subjects of the adverb clause and the main clause are different.

(e)    CHANGE POSSIBLE:          While I was sitting in class, I fell asleep.

While sitting in class, I fell asleep.

(f)     CHANGE POSSIBLE:          While Ann was sitting in class, she fell asleep.

Whill sitting in class, Ann fell asleep.

(g)   NO CHANGE POSSIBLE:   While the teacher was lecturing to the class, I fell asleep.*

(h)   NO CHANGE POSSIBLE:   While we were walking home, a frog hopped across the road in front of us.

*While lecturing to the class, I fell asleep.”means” While I was lecturing to the class, I fell asleep.”

CHANGING TIME CLAUSES TO MODIFYING PHRASES

(a)    CLAUSE: Since Mary came to this country, she has made many friends.

(b)   PHRASE: Since coming to this country, Mary has made many friends.

Adverb clauses beginning with after, before, while, and since can be changed to modifying phrases.
(c)    CLAUSE: After he (had) finished his homework, he went to bed.

(d)   PHRASE: After finishing his homework, he went to bed.

(e)    PHRASE: After having finished his homework, he went to bed.

In (c): there is no difference in meaning between After he finished and After he had finished.

In (d), and (e): There is no difference in meanng between After finishing and After having finished.

(f)     PHRASE: He went to bed after Finishing his homework. A modifying phrase may follow the main clause, as in (f).

EXPRESSING THE IDEA OF “DURING THE SAME TIME” IN MODIFYING PHRASES

(a)    While I was walking down the street, I ran into an old friend.

(b)   While walking down the street, I ran into an old friend.

(c)    Walking down the street, I ran into an old friend.

(d)   Hiking through the woods yesterday, we saw a bear.

(e)    Pointing to the sentence on the board, the teacher explained the meaning of modifying phrases.

Sometimes while is omitted but the –ing phrase at the beginning of the sentence gives the same meaning (i.e., “during the same time”). (a), (b), and (c) have the same meaning.

EXPRESSING CAUSE AND EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS IN MODIFYING PHRASES

(f)     Because the needed some money to buy a book, sue cashed a check.

(g)   Needing some money to buy a book, sue cashed a check.

(h)   Because he locked the necessary qualifications, he was not considered for the job.

(i)     Locking the necessary qualifications, he was not considered for the job.

Often an –ing phrase at the beginning of a sentence gives the meaning of “because.” (f) and (g) have the same meaning.

Because is not used in a modifying phrase. It is omitted, but the resulting phrase expresses a cause and effect relationship.

(j)     Having seen that movie before, I don’t want to go again.

(k)   Having seen that movie before, I didn’t want to go again.

Having +past participle gives the meaning not only of “because” but also of “before.”
(l)     Bacause she was unable to afford a car, she bought a bicycle.

(m) Being unable to afford a car, she bought a bicycle.

(n)   Unable to afford a car, she bought a bicycle.

A form of be in the adverb clause is often changed to being. The use of being makes the cause and effect relationship clear.

USING UPON + -ING IN MODIFYING PHRASES

(a)    Upon reachig the age of 21, I received my inheritance.

(b)   When I reached the age of 21, I received my inheritance.

Modifying phrases beginning with upon + -ing usually have the same meaning as adverb clauses introduced by when. (a) and (b) have the same meaning.
(c)    On reaching the age of 21, I received my inheritance. Upon can be shortened to on. (a), (b), and (c) all have the same meaning.

 

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