A complex sentence is made up of an independent clause and a dependent clause. Example: The television was playing (independent clause which can stand alone and make sense) as I left the room (dependent clause which must be attached to the independent clause to make sense). There are three kinds of dependent clauses: adjective clause, adverb clause and noun clause.
An adverb clause is a dependent clause that modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb. It usually modifies the verb.
Adverb clauses are introduced by subordinate conjunctionsincluding after, although, as, as if, before, because, if, since, so that, than, though, unless, until, when, where, and while. These are just some of the more common ones.
Example: They arrived before the game had ended. (“before the game had ended” is the adverb clause modifying the verb arrived telling when.)
Sometimes the adverb clause is placed at the beginning of the sentence. When it introduces the sentence, it is always set off with a comma. Example: Before the game had ended, they arrived.
Instructions: Find the adverb clauses in the following sentences and tell what they modify.
1. When you came from the garage, did you see the mower there?
2. Because the field was muddy, the game had to be cancelled.
3. Although you should return to class, just wait here for me.
4. As I sat motionless, the two squirrels came closer and closer.
5. Since I can spare only a few minutes, please be brief with your presentation.
–For answers scroll down.
1. When you came from the garage modifies the verb did see
2. Because the field was muddy modifies the verbal to be cancelled
3. Although you should return to class modifies the verb wait
4. As I sat motionless modifies the verb came
5. Since I can spare only a few minutes modifies the predicate adjective brief
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