The complex sentence with an adverbial clause

§ 163. Adverbial clauses are usually classified according to their meaning, that is, according to the relation they bear to the main clause. They differ from nominal and attributive clauses in that they are introduced by conjunctions with a more distinct meaning. Some types of adverbial clauses may be introduced by at least a dozen different conjunctions (as for instance adverbial clauses of time). On the other hand, many of the conjunctions are used to introduce more than one kind of clause (as, since, that, when, now that). In some cases the meanings and functions of the conjunction are so numerous that it is really difficult to say what the basic meaning of the conjunction is, as its function depends on the meaning of the clauses and their relationship.

Conditional clauses may be joined asyndetically, though they have link-inversion in this case. Here the meaning and function of the clause can be inferred only from the meaning of the subordinate and the main clause.

An adverbial clause may qualify the whole main clause, the verbal predicate or any verbal part, and also parts expressed by an adjectiveoradverb. Its position therefore varies: it may be initial, medial, or final -depending on the position of the part of the sentence it refers to and on the general structure of the main clause.

Women are very shy when they are expressing their emotions.

One day, because the days were so short, he decided to give up algebra and geometry.

Types of adverbial clauses

§ 164. According to their semantics we distinguish adverbial clauses of place, time, manner, comparison, condition, concession, purpose, cause, result.

The complex sentence with an adverbial clause of place

§ 165. An adverbial clause of place defines the place or the direction of the action expressed in the principal clause. It may be introduced by one of the following conjunctions: where, whence, wherever, everywhere (that) and conjunctive adverbs with prepositions. A clause introduced by wherever can express direction as well as position.

He was standing where he always had stood, on the rug before the living-room fire.

From where he stood he could see nothing.

Wherever they came people greeted them enthusiastically.

Why can’t we go where it’s warm?

He took a chair whence he could see the street.

Note: Adverbial clauses of place introduced by the conjunction where should not be confused with predicative or object clauses introduced by the conjunctive adverb where or its derivatives, or with attributive clauses introduced, by the relative adverb where. The descrimination is determined by the meaning and nature of the word the clause refers to. The young people went off at once to wherever they were going. (adverbial clause) I wonder where you are hurrying. (object clause) This must be where my sister lives. (predicative clause) Here is the house where we stayed last year. (attributive clause)

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