Learn English Grammar: The Adverb Clause

Do you get confused when you see long sentences with lots of commas and sections? You need to learn about clauses! Once you understand and can recognize the different types of clauses in an English sentence, everything will make sense. What is the difference between noun clauses, adjective clauses, and adverb clauses? Adverb clauses show relationships, like reason, contrast, condition, time, purpose, and comparison. In this lesson, we will look at these relationship types that make adverb clauses so important in English. I will also teach you when to use commas with adverb clauses. This will help you understand very long sentences made up of several clauses. Remember that as long as you can break down all the components of a sentence and understand the relationships between them, you can understand any sentence in English!

Watch Adam’s series on clauses:
Dependent Clauses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BsBbZqwU-c
Noun Clauses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SrEEPt4MQA
Adjective Clauses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpV39YEmh5k

Take the quiz: https://www.engvid.com/learn-english-grammar-the-adverb-clause/


Hi. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I’m Adam. In today’s lesson we’re going to look at the adverb clause. Okay? Now, this is one of the dependent clauses that we’re going to look at. I also have a lesson about noun clauses and adjective clauses. I have a lesson about the independent clause, which is different from all of these. Today we’re looking at the adverb clause, which depends on the grammar book you’re using. Again, they like to use different words. Some people call this the subordinate clause. “Subordinate” meaning under. Right? “Sub” means under, it’s under the independent clause, means it’s… The independent clause is the more important one, the subordinate clause is the second.

Now, the thing to remember about adverb clauses: What makes them different from noun clauses or adjective clauses is that they don’t modify words. Okay? A noun clause modifies or acts as a specific function to something in the independent clause. It could be the subject, it could be the object of the verb, for example. Or it could be a complement. But it’s always working with some other word in the independent clause. The adjective clause-excuse me-always modifies or identifies a noun in the sentence, in the clause, etc.

The adverb clause shows a relationship, and that’s very, very important to remember because the subordinate conjunctions, the words that join the clause to the independent clause has a very specific function. The two clauses, the independent clause and the subordinate clause have a very distinct relationship. Okay? So here are some of those relationships: Reason, contrast, condition, time, purpose, and comparison. Okay? There are others, but we’re going to focus on these because these are the more common ones. And there are many conjunctions, but I’m only going to give you a few here just so you have an idea how the adverb clause works. Okay?

So, for example, when we’re looking at reason… Okay? Before I give you actual sentence examples, I’m going to talk to you about the conjunctions. These are called the subordinate conjunctions. They very clearly show the relationship between the clauses, so you have to remember that. So: “because”, okay? “Because” means reason. So, I did something because I had to do it. Okay? So: “I did something”-independent clause-“because”-why?-“I had to do it”. I had no choice. That’s the relationship between the two. “Since” can also mean “because”. “Since”, of course, can also mean since the beginning of something, since a time, but it can also mean “because” when we’re using it as an adverb clause conjunction.

Contrast. “Contrast” means to show that there’s a difference. Now, it could be yes/no, positive/negative, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be one idea and then a contrasting idea. One expectation, and one completely different result. Okay? You have to be very careful not to look for a positive or a negative verb, or a positive or negative anything else, but we’re going to look at examples for that. The more common conjunctions for that is: “although” or “though”-both are okay, mean the same thing-or “whereas”. Okay? “Although I am very rich, I can’t afford to buy a Lamborghini.” Okay? So, “rich” means lots of money. “Can’t afford” means not enough money. Contrasting ideas. They’re a little bit opposite from what one expects. Contrast, reason.

Condition. “Condition” means one thing must be true for something else to be true. So, for the part of the independent clause to be true-the situation, the action, the event, whatever-then the condition must first be true. “If I were a… If I were a rich man, I would buy a Lamborghini.” But I’m… Even though I am a rich man… Although I am a rich man, I can’t afford one. So we use “if”, “as long as”. Again, there are others.


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