Adverb Clauses

Skill: Grammar  

Category: Academic English & Academic English

Level: Advanced

Adverb Clauses PART 4

ClauseA combination of associated words carrying a subject and a verb.

Phrase: A group of words that linked together and bears no subject and verb.

Adverb Clause: While I was studying in the class, an earthquake happened.

Modifying phrase: While studying in the class, an earthquake happened.

Note: When the subject of the adverb clause and main clause are the same, the we can change the adverb clause to a modifying phrase. 

  1. If there is a “be” form of the verb, the subject and “be” verb should be omitted while changing to modifying phrases.
  2. But if there is no “be” verb, only remove the subject and change the main verb to –ing.
  3. If the subject of the main clause and adverb clause are different, no reduction is possible.

Ex1: While I was walking on the street, I fell down.

Ex1: While walking on the street, I fell down.

Ex2: Before I bought the car, I borrowed money from my friend.

Ex2: Before buying the car, I borrowed money from my friend.

Ex3: While the driver was taxing, I fell asleep. (No change is possible)

Exercise: Choose the correct sentence in each part.

1- While sitting at my desk, the electricity went off.

2- While sitting at my desk, I saw the electricity went off.

1- Before writing your essay, it is important to brainstorm and gather ideas.

2- Before you write your essay, it is important to brainstorm and gather ideas.

Changing time clauses to modifying phrases

The adverb clause of time usually begins with after, before, when and since. They can be easily changed to modifying phrases.

Clause: Since you started this business, you have made many improvements.

Phrase: Since starting this business, you have made many improvements.

Exercise: Change the adverb clause to modifying phrases if possible.

1- While Peter was texting on the street, the thieves robbed his cell phone.

2- Before I came to class, I went into my aged friend.

Upon + ing in modifying phrases

This structure has the same meaning as the adverb clause introduced by “when”.

Ex1: Upon finishing your assignment, you can leave the class.

Ex1: When you finish your assignment, you can leave the class.

Ex2: Upon reaching the age of 18, you can live on your own.

Ex2: When you reach the age of 18, you can live on your own.

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