Adverbial Clause – Definition, its Types & Analysis

In the previous blog, we did the definition of Clause and its type with main focus on Noun Clause. We shall dedicate this page to the definition of Adverbial Clause and its types along with the analysis of sentences.

Definition of Adverbial Clause –

A clause that does the work of an adverb is called Adverbial Clause. An Adverbial clause can modify a verb, an adjective or another adverb to which it is connected in meaning. Check some examples –

1. Rama wept when she heard this news. ( modifying the verb wept )

2. He is so foolish that he doesn’t understand anything. ( modifying the adjective foolish )

3. She ran so fast that she won the first prize. ( modifying the adverb fast )

Kinds of Adverbial Clause –

1. Adverbial Clause of Time –

It denotes or specifies the time when the action expressed by the main clause takes place.

Example – All stood up when the Prime Minister came.

2. Adverbial Clause of Place –

It denotes or specifies the place where the action expressed by the main clause takes place.

e.g. He makes friends wherever he goes.

3. Adverbial Clause of Manner –

It denotes how the action expressed by the main clause takes place.

e.g. Plants breathe as animals do.

He walks as if he were a king.

4. Adverbial Clause of Purpose –

It expresses a purpose which explains why the action in the main clause takes place.

e.g. We eat so that we may live.

Walk carefully lest you should fall.

5. Adverbial Clause of Cause or Reason –

It denotes the cause or reason why the action expressed by the main clause takes place.

e.g. She failed because she wasted her time.

6. Adverbial Clause of Result or Effect –

It expresses the result or effect of the action expressed by the main clause.

e.g. He ran so hard that he got tired.

7. Adverbial Clause of Condition –

An adverbial Clause of Condition expresses a Condition.

The Conditional Sentence has two parts –

1. Main Clause or Principal Clause

2. Conditional Clause or If – Clause

The conjunction If is generally used to express condition. But condition can also be expressed by the use of unless, supposing, provided, in case etc.

Examples –

If I make a promise, I keep it.

Unless you work harder, you will fail.

Types of Conditional Sentences –

Conditional Sentences are of three types.

1. Probable Condition

2. Improbable Condition

3. Impossible Condition

a. Probable Condition –

The Condition refers to future time. So. it is an open condition. The result or effect may/may not be there if the condition is fulfilled. e.g.

If you study hard, you will get scholarship.

b. Improbable Condition –

This condition is also called ‘ unfulfilled condition of the Present.’ It refers to the present. The condition in If Clause is either contrary to facts or unlikely to happen. So, this type is used when we don’t expect the action in the if-clause to take place. This type is also used in imaginary suppositions. e.g.,

If I knew his address, I should give it to you. ( but I don’t know )

c. Impossible Condition –

This type is also called ‘ unfulfilled condition of the Past ‘. It relates to the past. The action is over. What is done can’t be undone. We can’t change the past tense. e.g.,

If you had worked hard, you would have passed.

Had I been rich, I would have helped you.

8. Adverbial Clause of Comparison –

It shows comparison of Degree of adjectives in the main clause. Comparative adjectives come after the conjunction ‘than’. e.g.,

She is more intelligent than her brother ( is ).

9. Adverbial Clause of Contrast or Concession –

This clause shows contrast with the action in the main clause. e.g.

Though he is poor, he is honest.

10. Adverbial Clause of Preposition

It shows proportion. e.g.

The higher you go, the cooler it is.

Note – The Italics part of the sentence is the Adverbial Clause.

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