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: Find the adverb clauses in the following sentences and tell what they modify.
1. Although I became tired, I enjoyed the hike.
2. You cannot become an expert driver until you drive for several years.
3. Buy that coat now because it might be sold tomorrow.
4. I cannot reach the top window unless I have a ladder.
5. After you have eaten lunch, we will leave for New York.
–For answers scroll down.
1. Although I became tired modifies the verb enjoyed
2. until you drive for several years modifies the verb can become
3. because it might be sold tomorrow modifies the verb buy
4. unless I have a ladder modifies the verb can reach
5. After you have eaten lunch modifies the verb will leave
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