Participle I as an adverbial modifier
|· While waiting for the water to boil, Kate warmed her hands over the kettle.
· Mind your English when speaking to the professor.
· When laughing she half closed her eyes and a dimple danced on her cheek.
· That being understood, the conference was over.
· We strolled back to the camp, it being then about twenty minutes to six. (old fashioned)
|2||Of reason (cause)||Why?
For what reason?
|· Being extremely tired, Isabelle ignored all the questions and went to bed.
· Still hoping to catch the train, Boris took a taxi to the station.
· Having made her mind on this question, she was difficult to persuade of the opposite.
|3||Of manner and attendant circumstances||How?
In what manner?
|· Jeanie sat silently looking down at her hands.
· The children burst into the room jumping excitedly.
· The postman came into the house carrying a big parcel.
|4||Of comparison||No identifying questions||Conjunctions:
· as if
· as though
|· John said it as if thinking aloud.
· As if obeying me he turned and looked into my eyes.
|5||Of condition||In what case?
On what condition?
|She ought to be there and her absence might be resented, but being there, she wouldn’t know what to say. (= even if she was there)|
|6||Of concession||No identifying questions||Conjunction:
|Somebody was waiting: a man, who, though moving irregularly, was making quite a speed in my direction.|
- All four forms of Participle Ican be used in this function.
- Adverbial modifier of time.
- In this function mostly Non-Perfect Active participle is used with conjunctions whileand when, e.g.
While watching TV Moira ate all the chocolates.
When reciting poems the boy always looked at the ceiling.
- Though usually Perfect Participle denotes the priority, Non-Perfect Participle can also show it with certain groups of verbs if there is no big lapse of time. Compare:
Verbs of motion: to come, to enter, to arrive, to turn, to leave
Arriving at the station, Philip found his train gone.
Having arrived at the station three hours before the train, Philip had much time to kill.
Verbs of sense perception: to see, to hear to find
Hearing the news, I phoned the professor immediately, e.g.
- Having heardfrom him only once in three years, I stared to forget him.
- Passive and Perfect participles usually show priority, e.g.
Being left alone, the child burst out crying.
Having closed the door, Mary leaned on it and closed her tired eyes.
- !!!The participle of the verb ‘to be’ is never used as an adverbial modifier of time. Instead an adverbial clause of time is used, e.g.
Будучи в Лондоне, он забыл зайти в издательство. = When he was in London, he forgot to call at the publishing house.
- Adverbial modifier of reason (cause)
The most frequently used participles are of the verbs ‘to be’ and ‘to have’ and of the verbs denoting mental perceptions and emotions,
being having knowing realizing remembering
expecting hoping fearing
Hoping to find Bella at home, Ted hurried to her house.
Knowing Professor carter as a sensible man, Richard decided to turn to him for help.
Steve stopped speaking expecting me to express my agreement.
- Adverbial modifier of manner and attendant circumstances
It is one of the most typical uses of Participle I in general and the main grammatical meaning of Non-Perfect Participle I, e.g.
The strange tall man stood up and left the room closing the door behind him with a bang.
- Adverbial modifier condition and concession
Participle I in the functions of adverbial modifiers or condition and concession are rare and are recognized only in context.
TASK – Sort out the sentences below into the corresponding column of the table. The first one is done for you.
|Adverbial Modifier||Number of the sentence|
|Manner and attendant circumstances|
- Having said all he wanted to say, the general turned to the map of the battle field.
- Tessa looked at me as though seeing me for the first time.
- Being slightly embarrassed Terry moved to the other side of the sofa.
- Not knowing if John had seen her brother or not and if he knew the truth, Bella didn’t know what to say.
- Grandma’s fingers were constantly moving as if knitting an invisible shawl.
- Carrying a suitcase in either hand, the boy stepped to the platform where he was already being waited for by his uncle.
- Intending to wait by the gate, I slowly walked down the drive away from the house.
- Flushing darkly Mary looked at the picture Stuart had given to her and quickly gave it back.
- Walking to the edge of the verandah, Edward leaned over and looked intently into the magic of the night.
- Hailing the taxi, Peter didn’t stop talking to me without noticing that I was not listening to him.
- Writing to Mary I always sent regards to her parents.
- The little boy walked along the alley whistling a joyful tune.
- Barnaby sighed heavily as if regretting what she had done.
- Not having received Mike’s letter, she sent him a telegram.
- The girl continued to sit still as if waiting for something.
- Being pressed for time, I couldn’t even have breakfast.
- Martha paused as if waiting for Robert to answer.
- Though rapidly balding, Mr. Stout took more care of his hair than usual.
- A week later I returned from school and found the house empty, my mother being at the shops.
TASK – . Paraphrase the sentences given below, replacing the adverbial clauses by the necessary form of participle I. Follow the example.
Example. After the doctor had forbidden me to go out, I had to stay at home for a week. = Having been forbidden by the doctor to go out, I had to stay at home for a week.
- When my son wrote compositions he always forgot about punctuation marks.
- When Patrick looked up he saw the teacher standing over his desk.
- The Drakes were travelling in the East when they met Paul and his new wife.
- The student made a lot of phonetic mistakes when she was reading the poem aloud.
- The boys were playing in the street when they heard their mother call them.
- When Grandma sits at the window she can see her grandchildren playing in the yard.
- When you buy a new coat don’t forget to try it on first.
- When Nelly skated yesterday she sprained her ankle.
- Henry turned off all the lights when he left the house.
- When we write a telegram we must use as few words as possible.
- While Mum was talking to Nora she continued to cook dinner.
- When I was going home I thought about my future trip to London.
- While Jane was waiting for her bus she read the book I gave her.
- While Jack was attempting to lock the door he broke the key.
- When she was brushing her hair she examined her face.
- While Stuart was talking to his friend he kept thinking about the new girl.
Participle II as an adverbial modifier
||· George was rather amiable when spoken to, but naturally silent.
· When asked, the little girl wasn’t able to give her name and address.
· Derek would never stop arguing until interrupted.
|2||Of reason (cause)||Why?
For what reason?
|· Educated in the best universities of Britain, these young people easily find prestigious jobs in London.|
|3||Of comparison||No identifying questions||Conjunctions:
||· Susan was listening to the old woman’s story as if hypnotized.
· Ted couldn’t move a finger as though paralyzed with fear.
|4||Of condition||In what case?
On what condition?
||Professor Garrison could speak for hours unless interrupted.|
|5||Of concession||No identifying questions||Conjunction:
||· Jane’s spirit, though crushed,was not broken.
· Although asked quite innocently, Greta’s question was full of viciousness.
he Gerund as Adverbial Modifier of Different Types with the Same Preposition
|Preposition||Adverbial modifier of||Example||Translation|
|for||1. reason||She couldn’t speak for crying.|
|2. purpose||The doctors came to the place of accident for rescuing people.|
|in||1. time||In crossing the street first look to the left and then to the right.|
|2. manner||In making herself busy she stopped worrying.|
|without||1. manner||She learned the words without writing them down.|
|He went away without saying good-bye.|
|3. condition||I won’t be able to learn the words without writing them down.|
Different Syntactical Functions of the Gerund Used with the Same Preposition
|at||1. prepositional object||He was surprised at not being recognized at once.|
|2. attribute||Her surprise at not being recognized was unexpected.|
|3. adverbial modifier of time||At seeing my friend in that place I stopped.|
|for||1. prepositional object||We thanked him for being so helpful.|
|2. attribute||I feel the need for leaving you here.|
|3. adverbial modifier of reason||He couldn’t speak for being out of breath.|
|4. adverbial modifier of purpose||We arrived very early for having enough time to do the sights of the city.|
|from||1. prepositional object||He tried to prevent himself from laughing.|
|2. adverbial modifier of reason||Their duel happened from misunderstanding each other’s motives.|
|in||1. prepositional object||He succeeded in proving his point of view.|
|2. attribute||What’s the sense in your coming here?|
|3. adverbial modifier of time||In crossing the street look first to the left and then to the right.|
|4. adverbial modifier of manner||She stopped worrying in making herself busy.|
|of||1. prepositional object||We suspected the man of having stolen our car.|
|2. attribute||The idea of leaving the country never occurred to me.|
|on||1. prepositional object||We count on the weather being fine.|
|2. attribute||Their insistence on being admitted was beyond my understanding.|
|3. adverbial modifier of time||On arriving in London we went to the hotel at once.|
|to||1. prepositional object||We are used to being treated with respect.|
|2. attribute||I have no objection to your joining us for the trip.|
|without||1. adverbial modifier of manner||She spoke English without making mistakes.|
|2. adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances||He went out without looking back.|
|3. adverbial modifier of condition||He wouldn’t have visited us without being invited.|
Syntactical functions of the Gerund
|1.||the Subject||a) Reading books is my favourite occupation.
b) It’s no use reading comics.
|2.||part of the predicate
a) part of a compound nominal predicate (a predicative)
|My hobby is reading books.|
|b) part of a compound verbal phasal predicate||In spite of the noise I kept on reading.|
|3.||an object a) a direct object||I have always enjoyed reading.|
|b) an indirect object||The child listened attentively to his father’s reading.|
|4.||an attribute||a) He has a habit of reading late into the night.
b) Jack Brown is in the reading hall now.
|5.||an adverbial modifier of
|He tried to memorize the rule by reading it several times.|
|2) reason||He didn’t open the letter for fear of reading something unpleasant.|
|3) purpose||I used to go to the Hermitage for reading old manuscripts.|
|4) time||After reading the manuscript, he finished writing his play.|
|5) condition||But for reading the manuscript, he wouldn’t have finished the play.|
|6) concession||I couldn’t answer the question in spite of having read about it.|
|7) attendant circumstances||We sat at the table without reading anything.|
The infinitive as an adverbial modifier
(sometimes has an additional meaning of manner )
||· My friend thinks he will go to Britain (For what purpose?) to improve his English.
· To occupy her mind(What for?), she took the job offered to her.
· A lot of girls like to keep diaries (What for?) in order to share their secrets with some anonymous reader.
· Mary turned away (What for)? so as to hide her tears.
· Then she turned down (What for?/ In what manner?) as if to look at the flowers.
|2||Of attendant circumstances and subsequent events
(shows that other actions take place at the same time as the action of the predicate or after it)
|No identifying questions.||Particles:
||· Jane was driven away, never to come back.
· I am sorry to have risen your expectations only to disappoint them.
· Soames arrived at three o’clock to hear that Fleur had gone out with the car at ten. (He arrived and heard)
· Ted came down one morning to find his wife very excited. (He came down and found)
· He came home only to find it empty. (He came and found)
|3||Of comparison or manner||No identifying questions||Conjunctions:
||· After that she folded her arms as though to protect herself.
· George knew his uncle better than to ask him for help.
· To give is more blessed than to receive. (Gerund is also possible in this case, e.g. Giving is more blessed than receiving.)
|4||Of result or consequence||No identifying questions.||Adverbs of degree:
Conjunctions:“so … as”.
|· The apples are not ripe enough to eat.
· We are too clever to believe him.
· Mary was too busyto see anyone.
· He was so weak as to be unable to work.
||· To look at Montmorency, you would imagine that he was an angel sent upon earth. (If you looked, you would imagine… On what condition would you imagine? If you looked.)
· She would be unhappy to marry for money. (if she had married for money)
· He would have done better to jump of the tower. (if he had jumped)
(shows that the action is the only possible one in the given situation)
||· I had nothing (Except what?) to dobut wait.
· What could he do (Except what?) but submit?
|7||Of time||When? How often? How long?”||· Her father lived (How long?) to be ninety.
· Go away! I shudder (When?) to see you here?
· She was upset to hear her father was ill. (when she heard…)
TASK 20. Explain how you understand the proverbs and saying given below and whether you agree with them.
- To be the gainer you are to lose yourself; to be happy you are to forget yourself. (purpose)
- Forty is a ridiculous age to be. You are too young to be called old and too old to be called young. (result)
- Modern art is when you buy a picture to cover the hole in the wall – and decide the hole looks better. (purpose)
- There is a time in the life of every problem when it is big enough to see, yet too small to solve. (result)
TASK 21. Sort out the sentences given below according to the type of the adverbial modifier they have. Underline an adverbial modifier in each sentence.
|No||Adverbial modifier||Number of the sentence|
|1||Of purpose/ of manner/|
|2||Of subsequent events or attendant circumstances|
- Tessa was too astonished at the first moment to answer Peter at once.
- Joe, you must hurry not to be late for your class.
- The child is old enough to understand this fairy-tale.
- To hear the president of our class speak about himself, one would think that he is the cleverest boy at school.
- My granny seldom goes out except to take visit her old friends.
- To avoid his mother’s questions, Peter went up directly to his room.
- You have only to look around to see how beautiful the world is.
- I have more important things to do than argue with you on this point.
- The mother couldn’t help but notice how unhappy her daughter looked.
- On Christmas Eve the boy was too excited to eat or to sleep.
- To occupy her hands, Melissa took up her knitting.
- Old Mrs Simon put her arms around me as if to protect me from all the evils of the world.
- Many language learners say that to learn Russian is more difficult than to learn English.
- Della looked at Boris to see what he meant.
- We had nothing to do but wait.
TASK 22. Define the function of the infinitive.
- Mr Gordon began to breathe heavily.
- Mr. Farrell likes to tell jokes to cheer up his guests.
- When they came for her she must have been combing her hair.
- I haven’t meant to scold and don’t expect to be scolded.
- The father demanded to be taken to see the baby.
- Could you ask Jim to come as soon as he can?
- To hear him talk is an education in itself.
- There’s nothing to be done with her.
- Well, I think we ought to be starting.
- I cannot imagine why you should ever have been prevented from seeing the old lady.
- Jimmie tells me he is prepared to sign the statement.
- They must be intending to go for a swim.
- My cherished dream is to have a good command of English.
- An adverbial clause is a dependent clause that serves as adverbial modifier to the predicate or another member of the main clause:
Andrea couldn’t type any more letters as her eyes were tired.
As Doris ran up the steps, she twisted her ankle.
Pretty as she was, nobody liked her.
Because adverbial clauses, like adverbial modifiers in a simple sentence, are classified according to their meaning, their grouping can be more or less detailed. Besides, one could expect a considerable amount of polysemy, overlapping and syncretic (i. e. combined) usage.
- Adverbial clauses can be joined syndetically, i. e. by means of subordinating conjunctions, or asyndetically (in which case a sentence could always be paraphrased so as to include a conjunction).
An adverbial clause can precede, interrupt or follow the main clause. The general rule is to punctuate adverbial clauses placed in initial or medial position:
An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.
- Most grammars distinguish adverbial clauses of time, place, condition, reason, purpose, result, manner, comparison, proportion and concession.
1) Adverbial Clauses of Time
- Adverbial clauses of time (or temporal clauses) are used to say when something happened by referring to another event:
I can’t pay my bills until my paycheque comes.
I won’t talk to her again as long as I live.
A time clause can be used after an adverbial modifier of time, so as to provide a more specific time reference, in which case it could be described as a specifying temporal clause:
They returned at dawn, before the others woke up.
Adverbial clauses of time are introduced by the following one-member and multi-member subordinators:
When, before, by the time (that), the first / last / next time (that) , whenever, since, directly, during the time (that),after, until, immediately, no sooner … than, as, till, once, hardly / scarcely / barely … when, as / so long as, while, every / each time, the moment / minute, etc. (that)
Some of these conjunctions can be preceded by intensifying or limiting adverbs: just as, only when, ever since, etc.:
Every time/Whenever I see her, I stop to talk to her.
I’ll phone you once I reach London.
While / As I was walking home, it began to rain.
We’ll begin directly /immediately he’s ready, (chiefly BrE)
It’s a long time since I had a good meal.
It won’t be long before he settles down.
He had barely arrived when (before — chiefly AmE) the message came.
The last time I went to New York, I visited the Metropolitan Museum.
When a clause of time precedes the main clause, it is normally punctuated.
- As a rule, future tenses are not found in clauses of time; present tenses with a future reference are used instead. However, when meaning “and then” can be followed by the present or future:
I will be on holiday till the end of September, when I return / will return to London.
Occasionally the present or past perfect is used in time clauses to stress the completion of the act.:
I will go to bed after I finish/have finished my work.
When you have stayed here long enough, you will know all the local customs.
Notice the variant use of tenses in the main clause when the temporal clause is introduced with before:
I left before he came.
I had left before he came.
The latter variant is preferred in a formal style.
- Main clauses opening with the endorsing items barely, hardly, scarcely and no sooner have inverted word order. If these endorsing items occur in medial position, the word order is normal.:
He had no sooner drunk the coffee than he began to feel dizzy.
No sooner had he drunk the coffee than he began to feel dizzy.
The lecture had hardly begun when the lights went out.
Hardly had the lecture begun when the lights went out.
These sentence models generally use the past perfect tense in the main clause and the simple past in the time clause. Other tense patterns are possible but rare:
Scarcely were they seated (or They were scarcely seated) when the show began.
No sooner does he earn any money than he spends it.
If a clause of time preceding the main clause opens with only after, only when or not until, the main clause has inverted word order:
Only after the money has been received, do we dispatch goods.
Not until the examination was over, were they allowed to leave the room
After wherever (and, in fact, after other -ever compounds in various types of subordinate clauses) we sometimes find the modal auxiliary may, which can imply a remote possibility:
Minor breakdowns, whenever they may occur, will be fixed promptly.
Notice the tense patterns in the following structures:
We hadn’t covered half the distance when the engine stalled.
I had been working for two hours when a splinter pierced my thumb.
It’s ages since I sailed/have sailed a yacht.
I’ve known the Browns since I’ve lived in this town.
- Adverbial clauses of time are found in a number of proverbs and idiomatic expressions:
Make hay while the sun shines/is shining, (a proverb)
Look before you leap, (a proverb)
When the cat’s away, the mice will play, (a proverb)
I’ll be there when I’m good and ready. (= when I am completely ready) (informal)
Before you could say Jack Robinson, the birds flew away. (= almost immediately) (a cliché; often found in children’s stories)
When the time is ripe, I’ll bring up the subject again. (= at exactly the right time)
I’ll be there before you know it. (= almost immediately)
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch/are hatched. (a proverb)
2) Adverbial Clauses of Place
- Adverbial clauses of place are used to say where something happened by referring to the scene or direction of another event or process. Adverbial clauses of place are introduced by the subordinators where, wherever, anywhere, everywhere:
You can’t camp where / anywhere / wherever you like these days.
Where buildings were destroyed by the earthquake, rescue parties are now at work.
Put your tennis things where they belong.
Sometimes an adverbial clause of place is preceded by a preposition:
I can see it clearly from where I’m sitting.
- Present simple is normally used to denote a future action after the subordinators anywhere, everywhere and wherever:
He will probably feel at ease wherever he finds himself.
A clause of place, particularly one joined by means of anywhere, everywhere and wherever, can come before the main clause if the speaker wants to give it greater emphasis:
Everywhere she goes, she is mistaken for a fashion model.
In old-fashioned English, anywhere and everywhere can be followed by that:
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.
- Adverbial clauses of place are found in a number of proverbs and idiomatic expressions:
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. (a proverb)
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, (a proverb)
Where I come from, people are very friendly.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. (= Let’s give credit to someone who deserves it.) (a cliché)
Faults are thick where love is thin, (a proverb)
3) Adverbial Clauses of Condition
- Complex sentences with adverbial clauses of condition (called “conditional sentences” or “conditionals”) are used to refer to an event, described by the main clause, that depends for its occurrence on another event (condition), described in the subordinate clause. Conditions may be thought of as real or unreal (hypothetical or counter factual).
- Conditional clauses usually contain any-words like any, ever, yet, instead of some-words like some, always, already, etc.:
If you ever have any problems, just let me know.
The use of some-words creates what is known as “positive bias”:
Help yourself if you want something to eat.
- Adverbial clauses of condition are introduced by the following one-member and multi-member subordinators:
if so I as long as on (the) condition (that)
if… then assuming (that) in the event that
unless given that suppose I supposing (that)
what if in case (that) (AmE) provided/providing (that) say once on the understanding that
You can’t travel abroad unless you have a passport.
So /As long as you clear your desk by this evening, you can have tomorrow off.
Suppose I Supposing (that) I wrote a novel, who would venture to publish it?
What if we move the picture over here; will it look better?
Say you were to run out of money; then what would you do?
If it hadn’t been for the flood, we would have had a good harvest.
If this is your idea of a good holiday, then you can count me out.
I’ll try to be there on time, but in case I’m not, the class will be dismissed.
The conjunction if combines with limiting adverbs: if only, only if, even if. Note that the conjunction once is polysemantic: it can mean “as soon as” or “if (ever)” and introduce clauses of time or condition, respectively. Only if placed at the beginning of the conditional sentence causes inversion in the main clause. Cf.:
You will pass the test only if you study hard.
Only if you study hard, will you pass the exam.
If conveys the meaning of purpose only when it combines with the modal be + to-infinitive in the subordinate clause and generally correlates with another modal verb or a modal expression in the main clause:
If everyone is to hear you, you must speak up.
We ought to redouble our efforts if the pollution of coastal waters is to be controlled.
We should leave the party now if we are to catch the 9.45.
If… not and unless are sometimes interchangeable:
If you don’t / Unless you change your mind, I won’t be able to help you.
However, unless is stronger than if… not and is sometimes preferable:
Unless the management improve their offer, there will be a strike.
Unless cannot replace if… not in certain Type 1 sentences (see below):
I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t win.
The reason is that unless always means “except on the condition that”. On the other hand, if… not cannot replace unless when the latter is used to introduce an afterthought. This kind ofunless-clause follows the main clause and is usually separated by a comma or a dash:
I couldn’t have got to the meeting in time — unless, of course, I had caught an earlier train.
This means that the speaker did not get to the meeting; she could only have done so by catching an earlier train. If we use if… not in place of unless in the above sentence, we get:
I couldn’t have got to the meeting if I hadn’t caught an earlier train.
The sentence now conveys the opposite meaning: the speaker actually got to the meeting because s/he did catch an earlier train.
- An adverbial clause of condition can be joined asyndetically provided that it has inverted word order:
Should some informality occur during your visit, contact the British Embassy.
In asyndetic conditional sentences, the contracted forms Weren’t, Shouldn’t and Hadn’t cannot be used to open a conditional clause; the corresponding full forms should be used:
Had it not been for the uncommonly cold weather, the wounded animals would have survived.
If is sometimes dropped at the beginning of a sentence, especially when the speaker is making a stipulation or a threat. Such asyndetic joining of conditional clauses is restricted to the informal style of speaking:
You want to get in, you pay like everybody else.
You touch me again, I’ll throw you out.
This is probably a borderline case between an asyndetic compound sentence and a complex conditional sentence.
- In dealing with conditional sentences and their varied structure, two criteria should be taken into account: the time reference and presumed reality or unreality of the situation described. These factors combine to determine the choice of verb forms in conditional sentences. Accordingly, we distinguish three basic models of conditional sentences:
Type 1: situation thought of as real; present, past or future time reference.
Type 2: situation thought of as unreal or hypothetical; present or future time reference.
Type 3: situation thought of as unreal; past time reference.
Within these types there is considerable variation of form and meaning. We will now consider them in greater detail.
- Type 1 conditionals fall into the following subtypes:
Type la. Real condition referring to the present (or, broadly speaking, to no particular time):
If an animal species is endangered, it is normally protected by law.
If you have lived in the same house all your life, you get used to it.
Type lb. Real condition referring to the past:
If he was asked to parties, he always brought his wife along.
Type lc. Real condition referring to the future:
If I need legal advice, I’ll consult my lawyer.
Tense usage in Type lc sentences is normally as follows: we find the future tense in the main clause and the present tense in the conditional clause.
Type 1d. Real condition with mixed time reference:
If he visited Italy last summer, he is sure to know a few words of Italian.
If he visited Italy last summer, he will probably tell you about it sooner or later.
- Although Type 1 conditionals characteristically employ the indicative mood verb forms, a few structural variations of the basic Type 1 model can be pointed out.
The modal verbs will and would can be used in Type lc conditional clauses to emphasize willingness or unwillingness:
- a) in polite requests, when the speaker is asking others to do things:
If you will / would wait a moment, I’ll fetch the money;
- b) in direct references to willingness or unwillingness:
If you will/would (= if you are willing to) pay us compensation, we will agree not to take the matter any further.
If you won’t (= if you are unwilling to) stop smoking, you can only expect to have a bad cough.
Furthermore, conditional clauses occasionally employ the future tense:
- a) when announcing a decision or agreement that is not unconditional:
OK, we’ll buy the tickets if you’ll buy supper after the show;
- b) when, contrary to the standard model, the situation described in the main clause is likely to occur prior to the situation described in the conditional clause:
I’ll give you $100 if it’ll help you to launch the new project. (The help looks like a consequence rather than condition: it follows the gift of money.)
Other variations of the basic Type 1 model involve the use of the imperative mood or modal verbs in the main clause:
If it’s fine tomorrow, we can (could/may /might, etc.) go on a picnic.
If you happen to see Mark, tell him to call me at once.
- The basic Type 2 model characteristically employs the analytical subjunctive (would, or occasionally should with the first person subject, in combination with the indefinite infinitive) in the main clause and the simple past form or the past subjunctive in the conditional clause. The speaker presents the condition as hypothetical, that is the speaker does not think that the action is or will be fulfilled.
Type 1 and Type 2 sentences have different implications. Consider the following examples:
If I lose my job, I’ll go on the dole. (The speaker implies that his/her position is insecure and this outcome is quite likely.)
If I lost my job, I’d go on the dole. (The speaker implies that his/ her position is secure and this outcome is unlikely.)
- Type 2 conditionals fall into the following subtypes:
Type 2a. The speaker states an unreal or unlikely condition referring to the present or future:
If you didn’t drive carefully, you would endanger the lives of other people.
If I knew Japanese, I’d talk to those people over there.
Type 2b. The speaker makes a polite request (in the form of a question) or give tentative, unobtrusive advice rather than refer to an unreal situation:
Would it be all right if I brought a friend tonight?
If you took a taxi, you’d be in time for the opening ceremony.
- Type 2 admits of a wide range of structural variation.
If the verb be occurs in a Type 2 conditional clause, it can be used in the form of the past simple (was) or the past subjunctive (were), the latter variant being more formal:
If I was / were better qualified, I would apply for the job.
The mood auxiliary in the main clause is would for all the persons. In BrE we also find should with a first person subject.
The modal verb would can be used in Type 2 conditional clauses in the same way as in Type lc:
If you would stop talking for a while, I would be able to finish this lesson.
If Ann would save her money, she would be able to go home for Christmas.
We should be grateful if you would be so kind as to inform us about your decision as soon as possible.
In order to suggest that something is not particularly probable, we can use should in the conditional clause:
If you should (happen to) finish early, we could visit my parents this afternoon.
In a formal style, a conditional clause of this kind can be joined asyndetically, with should placed before the subject:
Should you fail to comply with the provisions of the contract, we would have to take the matter to court.
This kind of conditional clause often combines with an imperative main clause in business English, although without the implication of a remote possibility; it is regarded as a more polite and less straightforward form:
Should you be interested in our offer, please contact us.
Should you not wish our agent to call, please let us know.
- Another way of referring to an unreal or unlikely future event is to use the modal expression was / were to in the conditional clause:
What would you say if I was / were to propose to your sister?
A similar structure with the impersonal it and a negative verb (If it was / were not for…) is used to suggest that one particular event or situation changes everything:
If it wasn’t/weren’t for his wife’s money, he wouldn’t stay at five-star hotels. (= But for/Without his wife’s money….)
Were to rather than was to is used in a formal style. (This model changes to If it hadn’t been for… in Type 3).
In very formal contexts, the asyndetic joining of were… to clauses accompanied by their inversion is also possible:
Were the government to cut VAT, prices would fall.
It is important to discriminate between the use of was/ were to as part of the conditional construction referring to the future and the modal expression be + to-infinitive (indicating obligation due to a previous arrangement) in the past tense. Cf.:
If they were to (= Should they) contact the office manager, the question of remuneration would be settled promptly.
If they were to (= So long as they arranged to) contact the office manager, they should have done so straight away.
- The basic Type 3 model characteristically employs the analytical subjunctive in the main clause (would, or occasionally should with the first person subject, in combination with the perfect infinitive) and the past perfect form in the conditional clause. The sentence expresses the speaker’s belief that the hypothetical condition was not fulfilled.
Type 3 conditionals can have direct or inverted word order:
If the members of the board had acted sooner, they would have prevented the strike.
Had the members of the board acted sooner, they would have prevented the strike, (formal)
- Type 3 conditionals fall into the following subtypes:
Type 3a involves the use of modals in the main or/and the conditional clause:
If he had known the facts, he could /might have told us what to do.
If he could have got the facts, he could have told us what to do. (informal)
If he were to have asked me/Should he have asked me, I would have been only too willing to help, (formal)
Type 3b sentences have a peculiar time reference: they can be used (especially in BrE) to talk about present and future situations which are no longer possible because of the way things turned out:
If my grandfather had been alive, he would have been eighty years old next April.
The same situation could be described with the help of the Type 2 model: If he was/were… he would be…
Type 3b can also refer to mixed types of situations, with a past-time condition and a present-time consequence:
If I hadn’t escaped from the burning house, I wouldn’t have been here now.
The same situation could be described with the help of a mixed type model: If I hadn’t… I wouldn’t be…
- If the condition refers to the past and the consequence to the present, we combine a Type 2 main clause with a Type 3 conditional clause:
If I had bought that dress yesterday, I would wear it to a party next Saturday.
If the condition refers to the present or is regarded as general, not restricted to a particular time period, while the consequence refers to the past, we combine a Type 3 main clause with a Type 2 conditional clause:
If he was I were a gentleman, he wouldn’t have cheated at cards last night.
If you were more considerate, you would have written back to her long ago.
- In speech and writing we also find simple sentences similar in structure to fragments of conditional sentences. The “missing” clause of the relevant type, whether independent or conditional, could be reconstructed from the communicative context:
If only it was/were Saturday! (.. .we wouldn’t have to go to school)
I wouldn’t have called him a liar to his face (…if I were you; …if I had been there).
Verb forms in Type 2 and Type 3 conditionals remain unchanged in reported speech:
He remarked that if he was I were better qualified he would apply for the job.
- A conditional clause is sometimes added to a sentence for greater emphasis, so as to make a strong assertion about a quality or measurement:
He is a fool if ever there was one. (= He is an utter fool.)
She’s forty if she’s a day! (= She’s no less than forty.)
If the parcel weighs an ounce, it weighs ten pounds. (= The parcel weighs at least ten pounds.)
The statue must be worth a thousand dollars if it’s worth a cent.
- Conditional clauses are found in a number of proverbs and idiomatic expressions:
If the shoe fits, wear it. (a proverb)
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, (a proverb)
I’ll get you a decent job if it’s the last thing I’ll ever do. (= I promise that I will get you a decent job.)
If (the) worst comes to (the) worst, we’ll hire someone to help you.
A few alternatives could be proposed if need be.
4) Adverbial Clauses of Reason
- Adverbial clauses of reason (or cause) are used to give a reason for the event or situation named in the main clause or to say why the statement expressed in the main clause is true.
Adverbial clauses of reason are introduced by the following one-member and multi-member subordinators:
because now that seeing (that)
as in that considering (that)
since for the reason that
insofar as (formal) due/owing to the fact that
so / as long as in view of the fact that
inasmuch as (formal) on the ground(s) that
Because / As / Since there was so little support, the demonstration was not successful.
A glider is different from an aeroplane in that it has no engine.
So long as you are here, please stay for dinner.
Now that the semester is finished, I’m going to rest a few days and then take a trip.
Seeing (that) the hall is already full, the meeting should now begin.
Our protest was successful, insofar as the Minister agreed to reconsider the matter.
Inasmuch as the two government leaders could not reach an agreement, the possibilities for peace are still remote.
The bank refused to negotiate a loan on the ground(s) that the papers were not valid.
Considering there’s more than enough to eat, he’s welcome to join us for supper.
An adverbial clause of reason can precede or follow the main clause. As a general rule, whichever the speaker wants to emphasize, (cause or effect) goes first.
- Clauses beginning with as and since usually express reasons known to the listener/reader. Because most often introduces new information which is not known to the listener/reader. Now that is used for a changed situation in the present; it means “because now” and, therefore, combines the meanings of time and reason, with the latter predominating.
Clauses introduced by seeing (that) are sometimes qualified as adverbial clauses of circumstance. However, it seems appropriate to class them with reason clauses, because the meaning of the conjunction seeing (that) is defined by dictionaries as “insofar as” or “because”.
Adverbial clauses of reason introduced by as occasionally have inverted word order, with a predicative of the subordinate clause moved to the front. Cf.:
Tired as she was, I didn’t like to disturb her. As she was tired, I didn’t like to disturb her.
In a formal literary style, a similar inverted construction is formed by fronting the participle of the notional verb and using the required tense form of the verb do after the subject of the subordinate clause:
Bathing as he did three or four times a day, he could not get his hair to stay down. (= As he bathed three or four times… .)
- Note the sentence pattern with an adverbial clause of reason following the expression the more so:
The existence of a single standard of English throughout the world is a truly remarkable phenomenon, the more so because I since the extent of uniformity has increased in the present century.
5) Adverbial Clauses of Purpose
- Adverbial clauses of purpose are used to indicate the purpose of an action.
Purpose clauses are introduced by the following conjunctions:
so that in order that lest (formal) that (old-fashioned)
so (informal) in case for fear (that) if (+ be to)
We sent them monthly reports in order that they may have full information about our progress.
I have arrived ahead of time so that I may / can / will get a good view of the procession.
Motorists should drive more slowly so that there is less pollution.
I’ve come early so I can see you alone.
I’m putting the meat in the microwave now in case my husband comes home early.
Generally speaking, in case, lest and for fear that express a negative purpose. In case is used to introduce a possible future action that someone is taking precautions against (Cf.: o halda, əgər). It is for this reason that in case-clauses are sometimes described as adverbial clauses of precaution.
In case is also classed with conjunctions of reason on the basis of possible transformation: I’m putting the meat in the microwave now in case (= because) my husband comes home early. This shows that the conjunction in case has a highly syncretic nature.
Although in case is occasionally used to introduce clauses of condition (especially in AmE), it is not interchangeable with if. Cf.:
I’ll fix a meal if my son gets hungry. (= I won’t do that unless he gets hungry.) (conditional clause)
I’ll fix a meal in case my son gets hungry. (= I’ll do that anyway, just in case.) (purpose clause)
Lest, meaning “in order that… not”, is followed by should + infinitive or by the present subjunctive:
The boy hid lest the burglars should see him.
The notice should be put up on the front door lest it be ignored.
Sentences with lest tend to sound archaic.
For fear that is usually followed by might, but the same idea can be expressed more easily with in case + past simple in past time contexts:
I bought the car at once for fear (that) the owner might change his mind.
I bought the car at once in case the owner changed his mind.
- As purpose clauses refer to hypothetical or future events, they often employ a modal, a future verb or a subjunctive mood form. When the verb in the main clause is in the present or future, or else in the imperative mood, the purpose clause employs may, can or will. The present simple is also possible:
Let us spend a few minutes in silence so that we remember those who died to preserve our freedom.
Besides, the purpose clause frequently employs the present simple if the predicate of the main clause includes a modal verb or a subjunctive mood form:
He should drive carefully so that he doesn’t get fined.
When the verb in the main clause is in the past, the purpose clause employs might, could, should or would:
Before coming to class I put my name on the cover so that nobody would take my course book.
- If conveys the meaning of purpose only when it combines with the modal be + to-infinitive in the subordinate clause and generally correlates with another modal verb or a modal expression in the main clause:
If everyone is to hear you, you must speak up.
We ought to redouble our efforts if the pollution of coastal waters is to be controlled.
6) Adverbial Clauses of Result
- Adverbial clauses of result describe the result entailed by an action or event named in the main clause.
Result clauses are introduced by the following multi-member subordinators: (so)… that, (such)… that, so that, with the result that. Result clauses always follow the main clause:
We arrived ahead of time, so that we got the best seats.
The guests came early, with the result that they had to wait.
The house was painted purple, so that it became a blot on the landscape.
The managing director made so many mistakes that the firm collapsed.
It was such a funny comedy (that) we laughed our heads off.
So and such are modifiers (endorsing items) in the main clause Which correlate with that in the result clause. That can be dropped in an informal style.
- Adverbial clauses of result introduced by so… (that) and such… (that) are also called adverbial clauses of degree. Such can stand alone at the beginning or at the end of the main clause, meaning “so great”:
The scope of his knowledge was such that he could lecture on any literary trend without using any notes, (or: Such was the scope of his knowledge that…)
Such can also mean “of a particular kind”:
The arrangement of entries is such that even a beginner can use this reference grammar.
- Result clauses introduced with so that may look similar to clauses of purpose. However, their verb forms are different. A result is a “real” fact; therefore, the predicate of a result clause stands in the indicative mood (chiefly the simple present or past). A purpose is an “unreal” fact, or an intended result; therefore, the predicate of a purpose clause often includes a modal verb (usually should /would), or a verb in the future tense. Otherwise, the unreality is shown by the verb form in the main clause.
- When the main clause has a compound predicate, the normal word order can be inverted for greater emphasis:
So terrible was the storm that the roofs were ripped off.
The main clause has inverted word order if it opens with one of the following expressions:
so great to such a point
to such an extent in / into such straits
to such extremes in / to such a plight
to such a degree to such length
To such straits was he reduced by his extravagance that he took to begging.
So great was her amazement that she could not utter a word.
- Apart from the basic models described above, we might as well point out a few marginal cases. Notice, for instance, the peculiar structure of some interrogative sentences with adverbial clauses of result lacking an explicitly expressed endorsing item in the main clause:
What have I done that you should scold me?
Moving still farther away from the “model” result clause, we find a syncretic variant of the type:
The elderly woman didn’t notice me approach, so intent was she on watering her plants.
Structurally, the second clause (so intent…) resembles a main clause that is normally accompanied by a result clause. Indeed, the situation described in the first clause results from that described in the second. However, an asyndetic subordinate clause cannot stand in initial position (with the exception of conditional clauses, where inverted word order clearly reveals their function). On the basis of purely semantic criteria some grammarians regard the second clause as an adverbial clause of reason. Whatever approach might be accepted, this structure would be regarded as marginal.
- Result clauses are found in a number of idiomatic expressions. Consider the following examples:
I was so ashamed I didn’t know where / which way to look.
(= I was terribly ashamed.)
She’s so busy she doesn’t know if / whether she’s coming or going. (= totally confused)
7) Adverbial Clauses of Manner
- Adverbial clauses of manner are used to say how something is done by referring to another action, real or imaginary. Adverbial clauses of manner are introduced by the following one-member and multi-member subordinators:
As, in a way, much as (in) the way (that),as if, how (informal) , as though, like (informal),
She acted as if/as though she was/were mad.
“Hi,” I say with a smile as if I’m the happiest guy in the world.
This steak is cooked just how I like it.
Type this again as 1 showed you a minute ago.
He treated me just as if we had never met.
- As a rule, adverbial clauses of manner are not punctuated. The insertion of a comma before as may change the function of the second clause and create a difference in meaning. Cf.:
He solved the problem as one might have expected, (an adverbial clause of manner)
He solved the problem, as one might have expected, (a parenthetical clause)
Notice also the verb form variants in adverbial clauses of manner after as i/and as though:
George writes as if he is left-handed. (One can infer from his handwriting that he is left-handed.)
George writes as if he was I were left-handed, (but he is not)
Adverbial clauses of manner joined by as can optionally have inverted word order, particularly when the subject is expressed by a long noun phrase:
The present owner collects tapestries, as did several generations of his ancestors.
Although adverbial clauses of manner introduced by like are often heard in informal speech (Surely you don’t intend to dress like your grandmother does?), it is generally regarded that like is unacceptable before a clause and can only be used before a noun.
- Adverbial clauses of manner are found in a number of proverbs and idiomatic expressions.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, (a proverb)
As you sow, you shall mow. (a proverb)
- The meaning of manner as expressed by adverbial clauses often implies comparison. However, clauses of manner differ structurally from clauses of comparison in that they do not correlate with an endorsing item in the main clause. Clauses of comparison, conversely, always require an endorsing item (see below 18.104.22.168. Adverbial Clauses of Comparison). Besides, clauses of manner can be used to elaborate the meaning of an adverbial modifier of manner, in which case they could be regarded as specifying adverbial clauses of manner:
Type this again carefully, as I showed you a minute ago.
8) Adverbial Clauses of Comparison
- Adverbial clauses of comparison are used to compare two things or facts so as to say how they are similar or different. Adverbial clauses of comparison are introduced by the correlative subordinators as and than, with an endorsing item in the main clause. The endorsing item can be an adverb (as, more, less) or a morpheme (-er), modifying a comparative element. In the sentence The task was ten times more difficult than I expected the word difficult is the comparative element (the standard on which the comparison is made) modified discontinuously by ten times more… than I expected.
- Endorsing items in the main clause often combine with intensifying or limiting adverbs: half, much, far, For instance, expressions with as… as can be modified by (not) nearly, almost, just, every bit, exactly, not quite.
The following structures are most often found in comparative clauses:
as… as not so… as -er … than
more… than not as… as as … as if
less… than nothing like
(much/nearly/almost/just about) the same… as as… as
You’ve made just about as many mistakes as I have.
It’s much/far la lot I a little colder today than it was yesterday.
Her condition is pretty much the same as it was last week.
The blizzard here was nothing like as heavy as it was up North.
The facade is as tall as it is wide.
As these examples show, a clause of comparison generally follows the main clause. There seems to be just one marginal form of comparative clause (namely, that which correlates with the endorsing item so) that precedes the main clause:
Just as two hands do not make a boxer, so a knowledge of foreign languages does not make an interpreter.
- A structural type of dependent clause that consists of the conjunction as, a plural noun without an article and the verb go closely approaches adverbial clauses of comparison, although it is not traditionally classed among the latter:
As cats go, this one is well-behaved.
Our house is quite inexpensive as houses go nowadays.
He’s not bad as carpenters go.
The meaning of the verb go in this kind of structure is defined as “be thought of”, “be rated”, and the subordinate clause means “compared to other Ns”, with the implication that the person or thing mentioned in the main clause is at least as good as most representatives of the same class.
- The present simple is often used to refer to the future in comparative clauses:
We’ll be driving as fast as you do /will.
In a formal style, we often find comparative clauses with a finite verb form but no subject, e. g.:
She spent more money than was sensible.
Their marriage was as stormy as had been expected.
- Comparative clauses correlating with not… any more and no more… than can be used for emphasis, e. g.:
I could no more tell Mother about my failure than I could have danced on a grave. (= I couldn’t possibly tell… .)
His smile wasn’t warm or friendly, any more than his eyes were.
Note also the variations in use of comparative clause forms:
It took three times as long as I had expected.
It took three times longer than I had expected.
- Adverbial clauses of comparison are found in a number of proverbs and idiomatic expressions:
Ann is exhausted again. She’s always biting off more than she can chew. (= She’s always taking (on) more than she can deal with.)
This detective has caught more criminals than you’ve had hot dinners. (= very many; used to praise a person for his/her great experience)
There is more to that problem than meets the eye. (a cliché)
The devil is not so black as he is painted, (a proverb)
9) Adverbial Clauses of Proportion
- Adverbial clauses of proportion are used to show how one action or situation changes or varies in terms of intensity, rate, quality or quantity in relation to another changing action or situation. Proportion clauses are introduced by the correlative subordinators the… the and as… so. The sentence pattern with the… the contains two comparative adjectives or adverbs; the pattern with as… so contains at least one comparative form:
The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.
As you go nearer the edge, so the risk increases.
- In fact, adverbial clauses of proportion are often regarded as a subtype of comparative clauses. Yet they differ from the latter in that, broadly speaking, they express mutual dependence rather than mere comparison. Mutual dependence is largely a symmetrical relationship; indeed, linguists tend to disagree as to which clause is grammatically dominant, because the interdependence of meanings conveyed by the clauses is very strong. In sentences with .. the, this mutual dependence is intensified by a double correlation provided by the correlative conjunction and also by the related comparative adjectives or adverbs.
- Proportion clauses have a highly syncretic nature. Many of them combine temporal and conditional meanings:
The harder he worked, the less they praised him. (= When/If he worked harder, they praised him less.)
Some other sentences with the… the, particularly those with a future time reference, closely approach conditionals, which is borne out by the tense usage and possible transformation:
The earlier we leave, the sooner we will arrive. (= If we leave early, we will arrive soon.)
We believe, therefore, that it would be correct to regard the first clause as dependent and the second one as independent.
- The order of the clauses cannot be reversed without disrupting the meaning of the sentence. However, the final position of the subordinate clause is possible when the subordinator the… the is used in a lightly different structural model, with direct word order in the main clause:
They praised him (the) less the harder he worked. (= They praised him less when/if he worked harder.)
Proportion clauses can be homogeneous:
The longer we live, and the more we think, the higher value we learn to put on the friendship and tenderness of parents and of friends.
The conjunction the… the can also link two one-member clauses or else a one-member and a two-member clause:
The sooner, the better.
The sooner we leave, the better.
The higher the price, the fewer people will be able to afford the commodity.
- Adverbial clauses of proportion are found in a number of proverbs and idiomatic expressions:
The more, the merrier.
The hurrier you go, the behinder you get.
10) Adverbial Clauses of Concession
- Complex sentences with adverbial clauses of concession express the admission that although something is true or accepted, another part of the problem, another view or situation (often unexpected) exists. Adverbial clauses of concession are introduced by the following one-member and multi-member subordinators:
Although, though, even though, even if, while, whereas, granted that, whatever, wherever, whichever, whoever, not that
considering (that), whether … or in spite of the fact that despite the fact that, much as, whenever, however (good), no matter (what)
However is used as a conjunction when it means “no matter how”, or when it comes before an adjective or adverb to mean “no matter to what extent/degree”. Concessive clauses are loosely connected with the main clause; therefore, they are always punctuated. They can precede, interrupt or follow the main clause:
Much as I respect him, I never turn to him for advice.
However far it is, I intend to drive there tonight.
You can’t know everything, however brilliant you are.
While I disapprove of what you say, I would defend to the death your right to say it.
Granted that Professor Green’s course is very difficult, it has always attracted large student audiences.
Beautiful though the necklace was, we didn’t buy it.
Whoever was responsible, it was not the poor pedestrian.
Wherever you met her, it was not in my house.
I’m going to go swimming tomorrow, whether or not it is cold.
Whereas he should have gone to the police at once, he didn’t do so.
He is quite agile, considering that he is very old.
- In a formal style, adverbial clauses of concession can be joined asyndetically, with inversion and the present subjunctive of the verb be:
These exceptions, be they many or few, cannot be overlooked by a careful scholar.
Syndetically joined concessive clauses with the present subjunctive are also found in a formal style:
Whatever be the reason for it, they conceal the facts.
- The structure of concessive clauses is highly varied. For example, the sentence Although he is a good athlete and tries hard, he will never win the Olympics could be re-worded in the following ways:
Good as he is, he will never win the Olympics.
Try as he may /might I does /will, he will never… .
However hard-working he is, he will never… .
However hard he tries, he will never… .
However he tries (informal), he will never…
- A concessive clause has inverted order if it opens with a predicative followed by the conjunctions as or though:
Handsome as /though he was, nobody liked him.
In this kind of structure as has a concessive meaning, as distinct from clauses of reason, where as retains its causal meaning whether the word order is inverted or not. Cf.:
Tired as she was/As she was tired, I didn’t like to disturb her. (an adverbial clause of reason)
Tired as she was, she went on typing, (an adverbial clause of concession)
A concessive meaning can be conveyed by when- and where-clauses, structurally resembling adverbial clauses of time and place, respectively. This is particularly evident if the subordinate clause is preceded by even:
Our teacher always has a word of praise for everyone, even where the essay is not quite up to the mark.
Why should we make allowances for his lack of expertise when the work of others is expected to be of the highest standard?
If only combines with because to impart an added meaning of concession to adverbial clauses of reason:
Fitzgerald’s early stories should not be disregarded, if only because they reflect the author’s personal experiences.
- Adverbial clauses of concession are found in a number of idiomatic expressions:
Come what may, the mail will get delivered.
I’ll be there tomorrow, come hell or high water. (informal)
Be that as it may, all this is part of modern commercial life. (formal)