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.
Than and as introduce clauses that are called elliptical clauses. That is they have some of their parts understood but not stated. Example: You are smarter than I. (am smart.) They always modify the comparative word (smarter).
Instructions: Complete the elliptical adverb clauses in the following sentences and tell what they modify.
1. My dog is older than I.
2. Jim can run faster than Jeff.
3. Pam spells more accurately than she keyboards.
4. He is trying as hard as James.
5. Barbara is a better tennis player than Jeanne.
–For answers scroll down.
1. My dog is older than I am old. than I am old modifies the predicate adjective older
2. Jim can run faster than Jeff can run fast. than Jeff can run fastmodifies the adverb faster
3. Pam spells more accurately than she keyboards accurately. than she keyboards accurately modifies the adverb accurately
4. He is trying as hard as James is trying hard. as James is trying hardmodifies the adverb hard
5. Barbara is a better tennis player than Jeanne is a good tennis player. than Jeanne is a good tennis player modifies the adjective better
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