Adverb clauses – basic

An adverb clause is a group of words that modifies a verb.  It has a marker, a subject, and a verb.   Adverb clauses are usually found at the beginning or at the end of a sentence.  If they come at the beginning, then you must put a comma ( , ) after the clause, but when they come at the end, no comma is used.


  • After he finished his homework, he got ready for bed.
  • They worked together before they became good friends.
  • Because we are new to Vancouver, we don’t know the city very well.
  • You can go to the game if you finish your work before noon.

The following markers are used for time:

after                              John turned on the TV after he arrived at home.
as                                    As Peter was cycling, he hit a tree and broke his leg.
as soon as                  He phoned her as soon as he got her message.
as long as                   As long as we have to sit here, let’s play some cards.
before                           Cynthia sat down and formed a plan before she did anything.
by the time               By the time I get to school, it will be almost 10:00.*
until / till                   I’ll wait here until you finish shopping.*
since                             Since I got back to Vancouver, it has rained everyday.
every time                Every time he falls, he gets right back up and continues.
anytime                     Give me a call anytime you feel like talking.  
the first time           She was just a little girl of six the first time I saw her.
the last time            The last time he played tennis, he wasn’t feeling well.
the next time          You pay for the gas the next time you borrow my car.*
when                            When they lived in Aspen, they went hiking everyday.
whenever                  Give me a call whenever you feel lonely, and we’ll go out.
while                             Shelly likes to listen to music while she is studying.

[*Note:  After all of these time markers, you cannot use any future tense; use the present simple in place of the future as in the examples with * ]

The following markers are used for reason or purpose:

because                     I want a new computer because my old one is too slow.
since                           Since you love coffee so much, why don’t you have a cup?
as                                   He was scared as this was the first time he had ever flown.
now that                   Now that you’ve graduated from college, what are your plans?
so that                        I told him my phone number so that he could call me later.

The following markers are used for contrast:

although                  He went to the movie with her although he had already seen it.
even though          Even though I’m tired, I’d like to go out for dinner.
whereas                    I like vanilla ice cream whereas my sister likes chocolate.
while                           While I love swimming, my wife is afraid of the water.

The following markers are used for condition:

if                                      I can be there in five minutes if you need any help.
in case                         In case there’s a fire, leave the building immediately.
in the event that   I’ll get a job in the event that my business fails.
even if                          Even if she comes soon, she won’t have enough time to eat.
unless                          I’ll volunteer to pick her up unless you want to do it.
whether or not     Whether or not they come to our party, I don’t really care.
only if                          He’ll lend me the money only if I promise to pay him back soon.

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© 2013 Ambien Malecot