Adverb Clause

We have seen in the previous sections that a clause is a group of words, with a subject and/or a predicate, having a meaning.

At the same time, Adverb is a word which gives an additional detail about the meaning of a verb or an adjective or another adverb.

When a clause plays the role of an adverb that adverb is called

• They rested
when evening came.

Here the clause ‘when evening’ came is modifying the verb ‘rested’. So that clause is a adverb-clause.

An adverb-clause is a group of words which contains a subject and a predicate of its own and does the work of an adverb.


• You may sit
where you like.
In this sentence, the clause ‘where you like’ is an adverb-clause.

• He fled
where his pursuers could not follow.
‘Where his pursuers could not follow’ is the adverb-clause.

• He behaves
as one would expect him to do.
‘As one would expect him to do’ is the adverb-clause.

• I shall punish you
because you have committed this.
‘You have committed this’ is an adverb-clause.

• Will you wait
till I return?
“Till I return’ is the adverb-clause.


In these sentences the adverb-clauses have been colored blue.

• Do not go
when you father comes to this town.

• He is not clever
that he lost all his property.

• I was so hurried
that the examination was about to start.

• I forgive
since you repent.

• I f I make a promise
I keep it.

• When he returned
I asked him many questions.

• Although he was poor,
he became distinguished.

• As it is an old car,
this price is very high.

• They fought as
heroes do.

• The streamers will leave
as soon as the mails arrive.

In many sentences, the adverb-phrase can be replaced with an adverb-clause as follows.

• Do it to the best of your ability.
In this sentence, the adverb-phrase can be replaced with an adverb-clause.

• Do it
as well as you can.

Both these sentences convey the same meaning.

• The Dean was met on his arrival by his secretary.
The adverb-phrase ‘on his arrival’ can be replaced with adverb-clause ‘when he arrived’ to convey the same meaning.

When he arrived the Dean was met by his secretary.

Few more examples with the adverb-phrases replaced with their corresponding adverb-clauses.

• A rose by any other name would smell sweet.
Even if it were called by any other name, a rose would smell sweet.

• Many ships were so shattered as to be wholly unmanageable.
• Many ships were so shattered
that they were wholly unmanageable.

• He was base enough to accept the dishonorable terms.
• He was base enough
that he accepted the dishonorable terms.

• After such a hard work, he requires a long rest.
• As he worked hard,
he requires a long rest.

• He ran with all his might.
• He ran
as fast as he could.

Go to the section on Adjective Position to continue

Intermediary Index