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Adverb clauses

The grammatical form of a complex sentence with an adverb clause is as follows.

An independent (main idea) clause, which contains at least one subject and one verb, is connected by a subordinate conjunction to a subordinate clause, which also contains a subject and a verb.

Adverb clauses establish a clear relationship between two ideas. There are five typical relationships: each type of relationship has specific subordinate conjunctions that begin the clause.

Choices for Forming Adverb Clauses

All three sentence patterns below are correct, as is the grammar, but which one appeals to you? Do all the sentences have the same meaning?

  • Option one
    Before they begin to study more complex economic theories, new researchers will study supply and demand extensively.
  • Option two
    New researchers will study supply and demand extensively. Then, they will begin to study more complex economic theories.
  • Option three
    New researchers will study supply and demand extensively before they begin to study more complex economic theory.

The exercise on this page presents clauses which you will use to create complex sentences.

 

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