Adverbial Clauses 1

Adverbial Clauses 1

 Adverbial clause  

An adverbial clause is a clause that functions as an adverb. In other words, it containssubject (explicit or implied) and predicate, and it modifies a verb.

 Most adverb clauses can be recognized because they are introduced by a particular word or phrase (such as "when", "how often", where etc.). These words and phrases are calledsubordinating conjunctions. 

 Time clauses 

These clauses are used to say when something happens by referring to a period of time or to another event.

Subordination Conjunctions of time 

・by the time
・until (till)
・as soon as
・every time
・no sooner


 'When' means 'at that moment, at that time, etc.'

  Notice the different tenses used in relationship to the clause beginning with when.

 It is important to remember that 'when' takes either the simple past OR the present - the dependent clause changes tense in relation to the 'when' clause. 


・He was talking on the phone when I arrived.
When she called, he had already eaten lunch.
・I washed the dishes when my daughter fell asleep.
・We'll go to lunch when you come to visit.


'Before' means 'before that moment'.

It is important to remember that 'before' takes either the simple past OR the present.


・We will finish before he arrives.
・She (had) left before I telephoned.


'After' means 'after that moment'.

  It is important to remember that 'after' takes the present for future events and the pastOR past perfect for past events.


・We will finish after he comes.
・She ate after I (had) left.

While, as

 'While' and 'as' mean 'during that time'.

'While' and 'as' are both usually used with the past continuous because the meaning of 'during that time' which indicates an action in progess.


・She began cooking while I was finishing my homework.
As I was finishing my homework, she began cooking.

By the time

'By the time' expresses the idea that one event has been completed before another.

  It is important to notice the use of the past perfect for past events and future perfect for future events in the main clause.

This is because of the idea of something happening up to another point in time.


By the time he finished, I had cooked dinner.
・We will have finished our homework by the time they arrive.

Until, till

'Until' and 'tillexpress 'up to that time'.

We use either the simple present or simple past with 'until' and 'till'. 'Till' is usually only used in spoken English.


・We waited until he finished his homework.
・I'll wait till you finish.


'Since' means 'from that time'.

We use the present perfect (continuous) with 'since'. 'Since' can also be used with a specific point in time.


・I have played tennis since I was a young boy.
・They have worked here since 1987.

As soon as

'As soon as' means 'when something happens - immediately afterwards'.

 'As soon as' is very similar to 'when' it emphasizes that the event will occuri mmediately after the other.

We usually use the simple present for future events, although present perfect can also be used.


・He will let us know as soon as he decides (or as soon as he has decided).
As soon as I hear from Tom, I will give you a telephone call.

Whenever, every time

'Whenever' and 'every time' mean 'each time something happens'.

 We use the simple present (or the simple past in the past) because 'whenever' and 'every time' express habitual action.


Whenever he comes, we go to have lunch at "Dick's".
・We take a hike every time he visits.

The first, second, third, fourth etc., next, last time

The first, second, third, fourth etc., next, last time means 'that specific time'.

  We can use these forms to be more specific about which time of a number of times something happened.


The first time I went to New York, I was intimidated by the city.
・I saw Jack the last time I went to San Francisco.
The second time I played tennis, I began to have fun.
 Conditional clauses 

These clauses are used to talk about a possible situation and its consequences.

subordinating conjunction of condition

・even if
・whether or not
・in case (that)
・in the event (that)
・only if


'If' clauses express the conditions necessary for the result.

If clauses are followed by expected results based on the condition.


If we win, we'll go to Kelly's to celebrate!
・She would buy a house, if she had enough money.

Even if

In contrast to sentences with 'if' sentences with 'even if' show a result that is unexpectedbased on the condition in the 'even if' clause. 


If she studies hard, she will pass the exam.
Even if she studies hard, she won't pass the exam.
Even if she saves a lot, she won't be able to afford that house.

Whether or not

 'Whether or not' expresses the idea that neither one condition or another mattersthe result will be the same.

Notice the possibility of inversion (Whether they have money or not) with 'whether or not'.


・They won't be able to come whether or not they have enough money.
Whether they have money or not, they won't be able to come.


'Unless' expresses the idea of 'if not'


Unless she hurries up, we won't arrive in time.


If she doesn't hurry up, we won't arrive in time.

'Unless' is only used in the first conditional.

Unless she hurries up, we won't arrive in time.
・We won't go unless he arrives soon.

In case (that), in the event (that)

'In case' and 'in the event' usually mean that you don't expect something to happen, but if it does...

Both are used primarily for future events.


In the case you need me, I'll be at Tom's.
・I'll be studying upstairs in the event he calls.

Only if

 'Only if' means 'only in the case that something happens - and only if'. This form basically means the same as 'if'.

  However, it does stress the condition for the result. Note that when 'only if' begins the sentence you need to invert (⇄) the main clause.


・We'll give you your bicycle only if you do well on your exams.
Only if you do well on your exams will we give you your bicycle.

 Purpse clauses 

Adverb clauses of purpose express the purpose of the action mentioned in the main clause.They are introduced by conjunctions like thatin order thatso that and lest.
subordinating conjunction of purpose

・in order to
・so that
・in order that
・so as to

in order to

In order to = to. It is used to express purpose.
It answers the question “Why”?

 If we use 'in order to' it sounds a bit more formal and explicit than to by itself, but both are equally possible in both spoken and written English. 


To cut the tree down, I had to hack through the undergrowth first.
In order to cut the tree down, I had to hack through the undergrowth first.

'In order to' is normal before a negative infinitive('not to'place not before the to- or zero infinitive ).
We do not usually use to by itself here:


In order not to oversleep, I set the alarm for seven o’clock.
・I walked very slowly across the room with the drinks in order not to spill them.

We can also use 'so as to' instead of 'in order to' and it carries the same degree of explicitness or formality:


・We moved house last year so as to be closer to our children and grandchildren.

・I gave him a cheque in advance to ease his financial problems and so as not to delay the building work.

Before stative verbs (know, seem, appear, understand, have, etc,) it is more usual to use'in order to' or 'so as to': 


・I talked to them both for half an hour so as to have a thorough understanding of the problem.

・I followed her around all day in order to know whether she had any intention of meeting him.


Don’t use 'forwith a verb to express purpose.
Sometimes we use for to express purpose but with a noun. 

・He went to Miami for business.

So that.../ in order that ...

These structures are also frequently used to talk about purpose, although 'so that' is more common and less formal than 'in order that'.


these structures are normally used with (modal) auxiliary verbs.


・He’s staying on in Australia for nine more months so that he can perfect his English.
・He’s staying on in Australia for nine more months in order to perfect his English.

・We’re going to leave by three so that we don’t get stuck in the rush-hour traffic.
・We’re going to leave by three so as not to get stuck in the rush-hour traffic.

・Jamie had an afternoon nap so that he wouldn’t fall asleep at the concert later.
・Jamie had an afternoon nap in order not to fall asleep at the concert later.

In order that you may pass the exam, we recommend you read through all your notes.
(Very formal.)

In order to pass the exam, we recommend you read through all your notes.
(Less formal.)

Note that in informal colloquial English, that may be omitted from the so thatconstruction. 

Listen out for this variation, though it wouldn’t be recommended that you use it:


・I’ll come early so we can have a good chat before Denise arrives.
・I’ve bought a video camera so I can film the children as they grow up.
・We shall wear warm clothes when we go camping in October so we don’t get cold.

 Reason clauses 

These clauses are used to indicate the reason for something.

subordinating conjunction of reason

・in that
・inasmuch as ・seeing that / seeing as


Because I spent it all yesterday, I don’t have any money.

Because I lost the tickets, we didn’t go to the cinema.

Because we didn’t have classes on Monday, we went to the lake .

Because my car was out of gas, we went to Ankara in Hasan’s car.

・Nobody likes Ann at school since she is always having arguments with other students .

・It surprised us that Mary got the promotion since she was not a good worker .

・George cannot understand the clerk since his English is not good enough.

As I had never been to Japan, I brought a guide book with me.

・He can walk to school as it is close to his home.

・I borrowed some from my friend as I had no money for the concert.

・Now I've got a car, I don't get as much exercise as I used to.

・She's enjoying the job now that she's got less responsibility.

Now that we've heard all the arguments for and against the proposal, shall we vote on it?

Now that the finance has been secured, the production of the film is assured.

Now that we have cable, we get a wonderful picture.

・We may as well go to the concert, seeing as we've already paid for the tickets.

・Thanks for cleaning up It's the least I can do, seeing as I'm staying here rent-free.

Seeing that he’s been off sick all week he’s unlikely to come today.

・This research is important in that it confirms the link between aggression and alcohol.

・The book is important in that it offers some intresting clues to the problem.

Inasmuch as you are their commander, you are responsible for the behaviours of these men.

Inasmuch as I already know you, I shall call you Jim, not James

・He was a very unusual musician inasmuch as he was totally deaf.