Other types of adverbial subordinate clauses

There will always be subordinate clauses that will not fit into any of the types and subtypes which were considered above. Since it would be unsound to try and squeeze them into one of the classes so far established, professor Illyish suggests two ways of solving this problem: either we shall try to establish some new classes, based on the characteristic features of these clauses, or we shall leave them outside all classes, contenting ourselves with the statement that they are subordinate clauses.

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One of the types is represented in the following sentences:

So the sooner the blocked runway – three zero – was black in use, the better it would be for all. [3, p.12]

The more he thought about it, the more he realized that the entire episode of the man with the attaché case could so easily be innocent, in fact, probably was. [3, p. 132]

The characteristic features of this type are, the particle the with a comparative degree of an adjective or adverb at the beginning of each clause, and the meaning that two actions develop in a parallel way: as the one develops, so does the other. Professor Illyish calls such clauses “clauses of proportionate agreement”.

Another type of subordinate clause, are termed “clauses of alternative agreement”, they may be seen in such an example:

He is said to have worn a coat blue on one side and white on the other, according as the Spanish or French party happened to be dominant. [6, p. 302]

Another type – “clauses of exception” is illustrated in the following example:

Miss Blimber presented exactly that she wore a shawl. Sentences of the type It is the emotion that matters have also to be considered here.

It seems better, therefore, to leave such clauses and others which may occur outside the exact classification, characterizing them as adverbial subordinate clauses only. [6, p.302-305]



According to the research, I would like to emphasize the most important points, mentioned above from the different investigations of the leading grammatists who worked in this field of the English grammar. First of all, adverbial subordinate clauses serve to express a variety of adverbial relations and, consequently, they are introduced by a great number of subordinating conjunctions. Asyndetic subordination is not typical of adverbial clauses (barring those of condition) since it is mainly the conjunction that differentiates one kind of adverbial clause from another.

The next important point is that the mentioned in my research types of the adverbial subordinate clauses and their grammatical and semantic functions should be remembered in order to avoid their incorrect usage and to distinguish them well. The generally accepted idea of such grammatists as Illyish, Rayevskaya, Gordon, Krylova, Blokh is that these types are as follows: adverbial subordinate clauses of cause, clauses of manner and comparison, clauses of concession, clauses of condition, clauses of place, clauses of purpose, clauses of result, clauses of time.

Adverbial subordinate clauses have subjects and verbs and sometimes objects. They do not express a complete thought. Adverbial clauses function to modify verbs, adjectives, or another adverbs. As for their position in the sentence, such types of subordinate clauses are dependent clauses – they can not stand by themselves. Without the main part of the sentence adverbial subordinate clauses are incomplete.

Of the three types of adverbial complements – qualitative, quantitative and circumstantial – adverbial clauses mostly function as the last mentioned, as adverbials of situation or external conditions.

Adverbial clauses may occupy different places in the complex sentence. They occur before their principal clause, after it, and even within it, which shows that the position of adverbial clauses (like that of adverbial complements in simple sentences) is less fixed and rigid than that of other subordinate clauses functioning as secondary parts.


General Summary

Proceeding from the said insights, the whole system of adverbial clauses is to be divided into four groups, which can be pointed out from the investigations of professor Blokh. They are:

the first group includes clauses of time and clauses of place. Their common semantic basis is to be defined as “localization” — respectively, temporal and spatial. Both types of clauses are subject to two major subdivisions, one concerning the local identification, the other concerning the range of functions. Local identification is essentially determined by subordinators. According to the choice of connector, clauses of time and place are divided into general and particularizing. The general local identification is expressed by the non-marking conjunctions when and where;

the second group of adverbial clauses includes clauses of manner and comparison. The common semantic basis of their functions can be defined as “qualification”, since they give a qualification to the action or event rendered by the principal clause. The identification of these clauses be achieved by applying the traditional question-transformation;

the third and most numerous group of adverbial clauses includes “classical” clauses of different circumstantial semantics, i.e. semantics connected with the meaning of the principal clause by various circumstantial associations; here belong clauses of attendant event, condition, cause, reason, result (consequence), concession, purpose. Thus, the common semantic basis of all these clauses can be defined as “circumstance”. The whole group should be divided into two subgroups, the first being composed by clauses of “attendant circumstance”; the second, by clauses of “immediate circumstance”. The construction of attendant circumstance may be taken to render contrast. Clauses of immediate circumstance present a vast and complicated system of constructions expressing different explanations of events, reasonings and speculations in connection with them;

the fourth group of adverbial clauses is formed by parenthetical or insertive constructions. Parenthetical clauses are joined to the principal clause on a looser basis than the other adverbial clauses; still, they do form with the principal clause a syntactic sentential unity, which is easily proved by the procedure of diagnostic elimination.


The List Of Used Literature

  1. Blokh M.Y. A course in Theoretical English Grammar. – M., 1983. – 384 p.
  2. Ganshyna М.N. Vasilevskaya N.I. English Grammar. – М., 1964. – 438 с.
  3. Gordon E.M., Krylova I.P. A grammar of present-day English. – M., 1980. – 335 p.
  4. Ilyish B.A. The structure of Modern English. – L., 1971. – 367 p.
  5. Kharitonov I.K. The English Grammar. – Nizhyn, 2003. – 209 p.
  6. Rayevska N.M. Modern English Grammar. – K., 1976. – 304 p.


The List Of Illustrative Literature

  1. Hailey A. Airport. – M.: Iris Press,2008. – 318 p.
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (electronic book by Joan Rowling). – 644 p.
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (electronic book by Joan Rowling). – 167 p.
  4. Melville H. Moby-Dick. – London: Everyman`s library, 1991. – 593 p.
  5. Stephen King The girl who loved Tom Gordon. – New York, 2004. – 356 p.
  6. Stine R.L. The New Year`s Party. – New York: A Parachute Press Book, 1995. – 193 p.