Today’s post will cover adverbial clauses. Onward through the labyrinth of English Grammar!
Adverbial, or adverb clauses are independent/subordinate clauses that modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Adverb clauses typically begin with the following subordinating conjunctions:
And any combination thereof. Adverbial clauses tell the reader how, why, where, or when something is happening. They state a condition.
For example, the adverb clause, “because I haven’t slept” could be used in different ways in different sentences to convey different conditions. This clause answers the question “why?”
Because I haven’t slept, I have no patience for your shenanigans.
Note: when a subordinating clause comes first in the sentence it needs separated from the independent clause with a comma.
I have no patience for your shenanigans because I haven’t slept.
I made some really rash decisions today because I haven’t slept.
I drank an entire pot of coffee because I haven’t slept.
An entire pot of coffee I drank because I haven’t slept.
Here is another adverb clause that can convey different meanings:
Unless you wish for sweet death, do not ever say that to me again.
You really should stop drinking so much, unless you wish for sweet death.
Unless you wish for sweet death, wear your seat belt.
Don’t go to that part of town after dark, unless you wish for sweet death.
This adverb clause also answers the question “why?”
Another example answering the question “when?”
Since I shed this mortal coil, I have had peace within the noiseless void.
I have no temporal worries since I shed this mortal coil.
Since I shed this mortal coil, I never feel sleep deprived.
I feel no pain since I shed this mortal coil.
As you can see, adverb clauses can be moved around in a sentence to bring clarity and emphasis to your writing. They are just another weapon in a writer’s arsenal.
In the next post, I will go into more detail on adverbs and why you shouldn’t heavily rely on them as a writer.