Adverbial Phrases and Clauses

This is the last of the adverb series. Adverbs are fun word creatures, but be careful not to fill your writing with them. Here is the list of the Adverb series:

Not all Adverbs End in -ly?

More About Adverbs

More Adverbs: Superlative and Comparative

Before we jump into adverb phrases and clauses, let’s define what phrases and clauses are. A phrase is a bunch of words without a conjugated verb. A clause is the same thing, but with a conjugated verb. So, what’s a conjugated verb? It shows three things: tense, person, and number. We’ll go deeper next week into conjugated verbs.

Here are some examples for clarity: under the table (phrase); when you finish your work (clause).

Remember in the elementary years, underlining phrases and what they modified on worksheets. It’s the same basic principle here when looking for adverbial phrases and clauses. Here is a list, the adverbial phrase in bold italics and the verb or larger thought in bold underline:

Phrase Acting as an Adverb

1.) prepositional phrase                                      Mike jogged down the street.

In the afternoon, Mike jogged twelve miles.

2.) present participal phrase (-ing phrase)    A man does stupid things when in love.

3.) infinitive phrases (to phrase)                     To reach her goal, the woman lost weight.

Dependent clauses might show the where, why, how, or under what circumstance a verbal activity taking place. The dependent clauses begin with a subordinating conjunctions (will go into this later). Here is some of the subordinating conjunctions: after, although, as, as if, as long as, as though, because, before, how, if, in order that, provided that, since, so (that), that, though, till, unless, until, what, whatever, when, whenever, where, wherever, and while.

Clause Acting as an Adverb

1.) dependent clause at the end

He will not pass the test unless he studies every night.

2.) dependent clause at the beginning

Because the civilization of ancient Rom perished in consequence of the invasion of the barbarians, we are perhaps too apt to think that… (Alexis de Tocqueville)

3.) dependent clause in the middle

His daughter, though she worked really hard, found it difficult to continue supporting him.

Next week, What’s a Conjugated Verb?