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Adverb Clauses

Different grammar books group adverb clauses into a number of different categories in order to better explain them. Obviously, this can result in any number of categories and include a wide range of subordinators (subs). Rather than attempt to cover every possible type and subordinator, I have found it helpful to cover only the ones students are most likely to encounter in the course of their normal academic career. So, while the following list is by no means the end all and be all of adverb clauses, it should suffice.

Five Types of Adverb Clauses:

  • Reason clauses
  • Time clauses
  • Contrast clauses
  • Unexpected clauses
  • Condition clauses [a subset of adverb clauses often known as conditionals.]

Let's start with Reason clauses as they tend to be the easiest for students to grasp.

Reason subordinators: [because, since, as]

   For example:

    Because Tom ate at McBurger, he got sick.

    Since Tom ate at McBurger, he got sick.

    As Tom ate at McBurger, he got sick.

Note that although because is the most commonly used sub, all three sentences have essentially the same meaning.

Reason clauses don't usually tend to give students much trouble, so let's turn our attention to Time clauses.


page last modified: June 8, 2014

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