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. Ila reads music better than Becky.
2. The dog whined sadly as I walked into the house.
3. If you have time, finish doing the dishes for me.
4. Many operations are unsuccessful because the patient is not careful afterwards.
5. Whenever I go out the door, the dog barks to go also.
–For answers scroll down.
1. than Becky (can read music well) modifies the adverb better
2. as I walked into the house modifies the verb whined
3. If you have time modifies the verb finish
4. because the patient in not careful afterwards modifies the predicate adjective unsuccessful
5. Whenever I go out the door modifies the verb barks
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