Adverb · Uncategorized · Verb

Adverbial Phrases and Clauses

(Read this section only if you need to pass some kind of academic English exam. If you’re learning English for work or fun, you don’t need this.) Although – I know there are some weird people who think grammar is fun. (-:

 

Adverbs are words that describe a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

 

Can you detect the adverb in the following sentence?

–          The movie ended suddenly.

Right: the adverb is “suddenly,” and it describes “ended.”

 

Another one: what’s the adverb in this sentence:

He plays the piano beautifully.

Right: beautifully, and it describes the verb “plays.”

 

Another one: what’s the adverb in this sentence:

It’s an extremely small room.

Extremely, and it describes the adjective “small.”

 

Last one: what’s the adverb in this sentence:

People know the company very well because of their bright logos.

There are two adverbs in this sentence: “very” and “well.”

“Well” describes the verb “know.”

And “very” modifies “well.”

winter dreams

Radarsmum

Adverbial Phrases

 

If the adverb part in the sentence consists of more than one word, it’s an adverbial phrase. They still have the function of an adverb, so that means they describe a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

 

What’s the adverbial phrase in this sentence?:

Early on a spring morning, the birds sing with abundant energy.

The adverbial phrase is “with abundant energy.”

It describes the verb “sing.”

 

Adverbial Clauses

 

An adverbial clause is when a phrase has the function of an adverb, and it has a subject and a verb of its own.

 

What’s the adverbial clause in this sentence?:

Early on a spring morning, the birds sing with such energy that even the laziest sleeper is unable to stay in bed.

The adverbial clause is: “that even the laziest sleeper is unable to stay in bed.” It describes “with such energy,” which as we saw is an adverbial phrase.

 

Trick: if you’re not sure where to find the adverbial phrase or clause in a sentence, try to simplify the sentence by reducing phrases and clauses to one word. It makes it easier to detect what you were looking for.

 

Exercise

 

Find the adverbs, adverbial phrases, or adverbial clauses in the following sentences from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnificent short story “Winter Dreams:”

1 When he crossed the hills the wind blew cold as misery, and if the sun was out he tramped with his eyes squinted up against the hard dimensionless glare.

2 In April the winter ceased abruptly.

3 The snow ran down into Black Bear Lake scarcely tarrying for the early golfers to brave the season with red and black balls.

4 Without elation, without an interval of moist glory, the cold was gone.

5 Sometimes he won with almost laughable ease, sometimes he came up magnificently from behind.

6 Again, stepping from a Pierce-Arrow automobile, like Mr. Mortimer Jones, he strolled frigidly into the lounge of the Sherry Island Golf Club – or perhaps, surrounded by an admiring crowd, he gave an exhibition of fancy diving from the spring-board of the club raft.

7 Among those who watched him in open-mouthed wonder was Mr. Mortimer Jones.

Answers: Scroll down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers: 

Sentence 1: When he crossed the hills the wind blew cold as misery, and if the sun was out he tramped with his eyes squinted up against the hard dimensionless glare.

“when he crossed the hills” is an adverbial phrase of time

“cold as misery” is an adverbial phrase (modifying “blew”)

“if the sun was out” is an adverbial phrase of time

“with his eyes squinted up against the hard dimensionless glare” is an adverbial phrase (modifying “tramped”)

“against the hard dimensionless glare” is an adverbial phrase (modifying “squinted up”)

 

Sentence 2: In April the winter ceased abruptly.

“abruptly” is an adverb (modifying “ceased”)

 

Sentence 3: The snow ran down into Black Bear Lake scarcely tarrying for the early golfers to brave the season with red and black balls.

“into Black Bear Lake” is an adverbial phrase of place

“scarcely tarrying for the early golfers to brave the season with red and black balls” is an adverbial phrase (modifying “ran down”)

“to brave the season with red and black balls” is an adverbial phrase (modifying “tarrying”)

 

Sentence 4: Without elation, without an interval of moist glory, the cold was gone.

“Without elation” and “without an interval of moist glory” are two adverbial phrases (both modifying “was gone”)

 

Sentence 5: Sometimes he won with almost laughable ease, sometimes he came up magnificently from behind.

“Sometimes” is an adverb (modifying “he won with almost laughable ease” and also “he came up magnificently from behind)”

“with almost laughable ease” is an adverbial phrase (modifying “won”)

“almost” is an adverb (modifying “laughable”)

“magnificently” is an adverb (modifying “came up”)

“from behind” is an adverb of place.

 

Sentence 6: Again, stepping from a Pierce-Arrow automobile, like Mr. Mortimer Jones, he strolled frigidly into the lounge of the Sherry Island Golf Club – or perhaps, surrounded by an admiring crowd, he gave an exhibition of fancy diving from the spring-board of the club raft.

“again” is an adverb (modifying “he strolled frigidly into the lounge of the Sherry Island Golf Club”)

“stepping from a Pierce-Arrow automobile” is an adverbial phrase (modifying “he strolled frigidly into the lounge of the Sherry Island Golf Club”).

“frigidly” is an adverb (modifying “strolled”)

“into the lounge of the Sherry Island Golf Club” is an adverbial phrase of place

“perhaps” is an adverb (modifying “he gave an exhibition of fancy diving from the spring-board of the club raft”)

“surrounded by an admiring crowd” is an adverbial phrase (modifying “he gave an exhibition of fancy diving from the spring-board of the club raft”).

“from the spring-board of the club raft” is an adverbial phrase of place.

 

Sentence 7: Among those who watched him in open-mouthed wonder was Mr. Mortimer Jones.

“in open-mouthed wonder” is an adverbial phrase (modifying “watched”).

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