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Lecture no.

5, Sentence Syntax, III

Lecture no. 5

THE COMPLEX SENTENCE


ADVERBIAL CLAUSES (I)
Adverbial clauses discharge the functions of adverbials, but they can also be related to
prepositional phrases. They belong to various semantic categories: time, place, manner, condition,
concession, cause etc. They occur in initial or medial position within the whole sentence, but also in
final position.
Because the guitar player was ill they cancelled the concert.

I. ADVERBIAL CLAUSES OF TIME


(TEMPORAL CLAUSES)
Adverbial clauses of time discharge the same function as the adverbial modifier of time at the
level of the simple sentence (that is they indicate the moment, period of time or duration of the action
in the main clause).
1. Introductory elements
 connective adverbs and conjunctions: after, as, before, once, since, till, until, when, whenever,
whereas, while; as soon as/so long as, directly (that), hardly ... when, scarcely ... when, no
sooner...than.
When the cat is away the mice will play. See a doctor as soon as you can.
You can call me whenever you need help with your dissertation.
I was knitting while my son was watching his favourite cartoons.
So long as the kids eat the food I cook, I am totally pleased..
You can go home now (that) you have finished your project.
o till/until require the use of a dynamic verb in the negative (or other negative words) in the
main clause: He didn’t start to walk until he was 2 years old.

2. Sequence of tenses in temporal clauses


Adverbial Clauses of Time are subject to many constraints as part of the set of rules known as
the sequence of tenses. They can be summarized as follows:
 PARALLEL/SIMULTANEOUS ACTIONS – the action of the verb in the temporal clause
occurs at the same time or during the action of the verb in the main clause. The parallel
actions are indicated by:
MAIN CLAUSE TEMPORAL CLAUSE
PRESENT TENSE or PAST TENSE PRESENT TENSE OR PAST TENSE
When I have some days off I go to the mountains.
It was raining cats and dogs when I left for work this morning.
FUTURE TENSE PRESENT TENSE
He will come here when(ever) he thinks it necessary.
You will change your opinion when you hear what he’s been through.
FUTURE IN THE PAST PAST TENSE
He said he would come when he had some spare time.

 ANTERIOR/PRIOR ACTIONS – the action of the verb in the temporal clause takes place
before that of the main clause. Anterior actions are indicated by:
MAIN CLAUSE TEMPORAL CLAUSE
PRESENT TENSE or FUTURE TENSE PRESENT PERFECT
We’ll go to the mall when we have finished our homework.
PAST TENSE PAST PERFECT
PAST TENSE/PAST PERFECT, temporal
clauses introduced by AFTER, TILL, UNTIL,
if anteriority results from the context

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Lecture no. 5, Sentence Syntax, III

The children were sent to bed when they had finished the puzzle.
He didn’t leave the meeting until they (had) accepted to apply his innovative ideas.
He visited all his friends after he (had) returned from India.
FUTURE IN THE PAST PAST PERFECT
He promised he would come as soon as he had finished his homework.
PRESENT PERFECT PAST TENSE in temporal clauses
introduced by SINCE when the action of the
temporal clause takes place before or at the
initial moment of the action in the main
clause
PRESENT PERFECT in temporal clauses
introduced by SINCE when the two actions
are parallel
They have moved house three times since they got married.
I have been working to work since my driver’s license was suspended.
I have made many friends since I have lived here.

 SUBSEQUENT ACTIONS – the action of the verb in the temporal clause takes place after
that of the main clause. Subsequent actions are indicated by:
MAIN CLAUSE TEMPORAL CLAUSE
PAST TENSE or PAST PERFECT PAST TENSE in the temporal clause
introduced by TILL, UNTIL, BEFORE,
WHEN
The play began / had begun before I reached the theatre.
When I got to the concert, the band had already been playing for half and hour.
PAST PERFECT PAST TENSE in the temporal clause with
correlatives HARDLY ...WHEN,
SCARCELY...WHEN, NO SOONER...THAN
(when the adverbs hardly, scarcely, no
sooner are placed in front position, they
trigger the subject-auxiliary inversion)
I had scarcely replaced the receiver when the telephone rang again.
Hardly had I replaced the receiver when the telephone rang again.
He had no sooner posted the letter than he remembered he hadn’t stamped it.
No sooner had he posted the letter than he remembered he hadn’t stamped it

3. Non-Finite Adverbial Clause of Time


 a participial phrase – when the subject of the main clause is co-referential with that of the
subordinate clause
Having finished classes, I went to the club.
o abbreviated –ing forms may follow the conjunctions when(ever), while
They do a lot of reading when travelling by train.
While waiting at the dentist’s I read a whole short story.
 a gerundial phrase introduced by the prepositions after, before, on, in
When we got home we saw his car parked in front of the house. – (On) getting home we saw
his car parked in front of the house.
We switched off the lights before going to bed.
After John’s getting well, his family gave a party at home.
 a past participle preceded by after, before, once, since, when
Once published, the book caused a remarkable stir.
Some dogs become vicious when chained up.
 an infinitival phrase – placed only in final position
She grew up to be a famous pianist.
I awoke one morning to find the house in an uproar.

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Lecture no. 5, Sentence Syntax, III

These phrases can be paraphrased by the use of when and by switching the relationship of
subordination: When I awoke one morning, I found the house in an uproar.
 verbless clauses – in clauses of the type Subject + Be + Adverbial/Predicative – the construction
Subject + Be can be deleted thus forming a verbless clause
While still at school, he wrote his first novel.

II. ADVERBIAL CLAUSES OF PLACE


Adverbial clauses of place discharge the same function as the adverbial modifier of place at
the level of the simple sentence (that is they indicate the place where the action is performed or the
direction of the action performed by the verb in the main clause.

1. Introductory elements
 relative adverbs: where, wherever, eveywhere
I’m always meeting him where I least expect him.
Wherever he went he met hospitable people.
Everywhere I looked I saw the same smiling faces.
§ In a sentence such as I shall go where I like, the subordinate clause where I like may be interpreted
as a relative clause determining the hypothetical noun place: I shall go to any place I like.

2. Sequence of tenses
Adverbial Clauses of Place do not apply the rules of the seqeunce of tenses since they are
extremely remote from the idea of time and from temporal relations. Therefore, the verb in the
adverbial clause is logically conditioned by the verb in the main clause.
The memorial stands where the artist was born.
The memorial stood where the artist had been born.
The memorial will stand where the artist was born.

3. Non-Finite Adverbial Clause of Place


 past participle (reduction of a verb in the Passive Voice)
Wherever known (= wherever they have been known), such facts have been reported.

III. ADVERBIAL CLAUSES OF MANNER

A. ADVERBIAL CLAUSES OF MANNER PROPER


Adverbial Clauses of Manner Proper are the equivalent on the plane of the complex sentence
of what an adverbial modifier of manner (proper) is on the plane of the simple sentence, that is they
indicate the way in which the subject performs the action.
1. Introductory elements
 conjunctions: as, in what manner: Do as you are told. They strove to do in what manner they
could.
 relative adverb: how: Do it how you can.
 conjunction like (instead of as in colloquial British English or in informal American English):
Nobody loves you like I do. It’s like I imagined.

2. Sequence of Tenses
Adverbial Clauses of Manner Proper do not apply special rules of seqeunce of tenses, perfect
freedom of general logic governing the tenses in them:
He acted as he had been advised to. He will act as he has been advised to.
He will do just as you told him.

3. Non-Finite Adverbial Clause of Manner Proper


 -ing participial phrase: He came to us grinning.

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Lecture no. 5, Sentence Syntax, III

 gerundial phrase preceded by a preposition: I shall begin by pointing out the key words in the
poem.
 past participle: He bought the house unrepaired and unpainted.

B. ADVERBIAL CLAUSES OF QUANTITY, DEGREE AND APPROXIMATION


1. Introductory elements
 conjunction as with a temporal meaning of gradation, proportion or with the meaning of
approximation. If the as clause is placed in intitial position, the correlative so, may introduce the
main clause (in formal, literary English).
He grew wiser as he advanced in age. As he advanced with his work, he realized its
difficulty. As time went on, so their hopes began to wane.
 conjunctional phrases: in proportion as, as far as, in so far as
In proportion as the papers accumulated he grew more and more hopeless and inefficient.
 correlatives: the... the; the more ... the more, the less ... the less followed by and adjective or
adverb in the comparative – to indicate proportionality
The more I study, the more I realize my ignorance.
The harder they worked, the better results they got.

2. Sequence of tenses
 Past Tense in the clause of proportion – Past Tense in the main clause
The longer we stayed there, the more we liked the place.
 Present Tense in the clause of proportion – Future Tense in the main clause
The more time you spend in the open air, the sooner you will recover.

IV. ADVERBIAL CLAUSES OF COMPARISON


1. Introductory elements
 conjunctions: as, than. As – with the positive form of an adjective/adverb – the correlative in the
main clause: as (affirmative sentences), so/as (negative sentences) (thus, the correlatives are: as ...
as; not so/as ... as). Than – after adjectives/adverbs in the comparative degree
He writes as incoherently as he speaks.
The poem is not so good as you thought.
He missed more than he could have believed. (Cronin)
§ Comparative Clauses are often elliptical when both the main clause and the comparative clause
contain the same verb.
She speaks French better than him (= better than he speaks it). but
She speaks French better than she writes it.

2. Sequence of tenses
In an Adverbial Clause of Comparison introduced by as, than, the verb may be in any tense
required by logic.
Last year you spoke French better than you do now. This is not easy as I thought it would be.
She loves her sister more than she will ever love me.

3. Non-Finite Adverbial Clause of Comparison


 infinitival phrase (for clauses introduced by than), with ot without the particle to
He did nothing more than (to) sign his name.
I knew better than mention the subject to her.
 -ing gerundial phrase (when the verb preceding the conjunction than is also an –ing form): This
is more amusing than sitting in an office.

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Lecture no. 5, Sentence Syntax, III

THE ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF COMPARISON AND CONCESSION


The adverbial clause of comparison and concession expresses unreal comparison (that is
comparison with some hypothetical circumstances), with a tinge of concession.

1. Introductory elements
 conjunctional phrases: as if, as though; (like in American English)
He talked as though he were not in his right senses.
It looks like it’s going to rain.
2. Sequence of tenses
The adverbial clause of comparison and concession, being of hypothetical nature, require the
use of a form of the subjunctive.
 simultaneity of the actions (main clause and subordinate clause) – Past Synthetic Subjunctive in
the subordinate clause – Present / Past Tense Indicative in the main clause:
He talks/talked as if he were a teacher. (but he isn’t / wasn’t)
 anteriority of the action in the subordinate clause – Past Perfect Synthetic Subjunctive in the
subordinate clause – Present / Past Tense Indicative in the main clause
He behaves /behaved as if he had been there. (but he wasn’t)
When the Indicative Mood is used in the the adverbial clause of comparison and concession, it
indicates factual meaning, an assumption that ranges from tentativeness to likelihood: He acts as if he
wants to tell me something. It looks as if it’s going to rain.

3. Non-Finite Adverbial Clause of Comparison


 -ing participle. She behaved as if seeking encouragement.
 past participle She behaved as though dazed.