The adverbial clause contains a subject and a verb and functions as an adverb that modifies verb, adjective, or another adverb. It adds extra information about the time, place, manner, etc to a sentence. As a dependent clause, it cannot stand on its own, but must be connected to the main clause (or independent clause) to form a complete sentence. The adverbial clause starts with a subordinating conjunction and may come before or after the main clause. When it comes before the main clause, a comma is used to separate the two clauses. When it comes after the main clause, no comma is necessary.



  • He shook my hand before he died.
  • He ate the whole, big pizza although he said he was full..
  • The wife now sleeps in another room because the husband snores loudly.
  • My best friend, Bill and I once fought bravely against each other when we were classmates.



The adverbial clause is placed in the beginning or at the end of a sentence.


In the beginning:


  • Unless you learn to keep quiet, I shall not go to the library with you. 
  • While her father was asleep, his little daughter shot his face with a water pistol.
  • As soon as we heard the news, all of us cried.  



At the end (using the same subordinating conjunctions):


  • The eldest daughter doesn’t help with housework unless she is paid.
  • Mum alone is doing the cooking while the children wait to eat.
  • He snores when he falls asleep.



When the adverb clause comes at the beginning of a sentence, a comma is required after the adverb clause.


  • When we were classmates, Bill and I once fought bravely against each other. 
  • Since we have caught no fish for dinner, we may decide to buy some at the market.
  • Whenever he visits his mother-in-law, he always brings along a magazine to read. 



The adverbial clause performs different functions. For example, it shows the time, place, manner, etc of an occurrence.


Clauses of time – These clauses show when something happens.

Conjunctions used in clauses of time include afterasas long asas soon asbeforesinceso long asuntilwhenwhenever, and while.


  • He's not honest as he claims to be.
  • Before he drew his last breath, he shook my hand.  
  • When she heard the news, she wept tears of joy. .



Clauses of place – These clauses show where something is or happens.

Conjunctions used in clauses of place anywhereeverywherewherewherever.



  • Everywhere we went, the wind kept blowing sand into our faces. 
  • That is the farm where I saw a lot of scorpions.
  • She brings along an umbrella wherever she goes.



Clauses of manner – These clauses show the way something is done.

Conjunctions used in clauses of manner include asas thoughlike.


  • As I have told you a hundred times, don’t disturb that hornets.
  • She looked pale as though she had seen a few ghosts.
  • He treats his dog like his own brother.



Clauses of purpose – These clauses show the purpose of doing something.

Conjunctions used in clauses of purpose include lestin order that/to, so, so that, that.



  • Let me remind you lest you forget that you still owe me ten dollars.
  • In order to make the soup taste good, she added too much salt..
  • Please be quiet so I can sleep..



Clauses of reason – These clauses show why something happens.

Conjunctions used include asas long asbecausein order thatnow thatsince, so



    • As we were both tiredwe agreed to stop playing.


    • She got stung because she went too close to the wasp’s nest.
    • Since there are no dishes under ten dollars, let’s get out of here.



Clauses of condition – These clauses show a possible situation.

Conjunctions used in clauses of condition include even ififin case, in the event thatin caseonly if, providedprovidingunless, whether or not.



  • If he were not such a heavy smoker, he would be alive today. 
  • I will dine with you, provided you pay the bill.
  • I’m going to take away your television unless you pay me back the money.



Clauses of contrast – These clauses show clear differences: ‘this thing’ is exactly the opposite of ‘that thing’. 
Conjunctions used include althoughdespiteeven ifeven thoughhoweverin spite ofregardless ofthoughwhereaswhile.



  • Despite her parents’ objections, she insisted on driving fast.
  • The wife is fat and short, while the husband is skinny and tall.
  • Why good people die young, whereas bad ones live longer?