Chapter 8-2-3: Adverb Clauses
An adverb clause is a dependent clause which takes the place of an adverb in another clause or phrase. An adverb clause answers questions such as "when?", "where?", "why?", "with what goal/result?", and "under what conditions?".
Note how an adverb clause can replace an adverb in the following example:
The premier gave a speech here.
The premier gave a speech where the workers were striking.
Usually, a subordinating conjunction like "because," "when(ever)," "where(ever)," "since," "after," and "so that," will introduce an adverb clause. Note that a dependent adverb clause can never stand alone as a complete sentence:
they left the locker room
dependent adverb clause
after they left the locker room
The first example can easily stand alone as a sentence, but the second cannot -- the reader will ask what happened "after they left the locker room". Here are some more examples of adverb clauses expressing the relationships of cause, effect, space, time, and condition:
Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle because the uncle had murdered Hamlet's father.
The adverb clause answers the question "why?".
Hamlet wanted to kill his uncle so that his father's murder would be avenged.
The adverb clause answers the question "with what goal/result?".
After Hamlet's uncle Claudius married Hamlet's mother, Hamlet wanted to kill him.
The adverb clause answers the question "when?". Note the change in word order -- an adverb clause can often appear either before or after the main part of the sentence.
Where the whole Danish court was assembled, Hamlet ordered a play in an attempt to prove his uncle's guilt.
The adverb clause answers the question "where?".
If the British co-operate, the Europeans may achieve monetary union.
The adverb clause answers the question "under what conditions?"