Adverb Clauses

In order to avoid errors in sentence structure especially Run-Ons and Comma Splices, sentences can be combined using clauses.  When independent or subordinate clauses are combined with independent or main clauses, the resulting sentence is a Complex Sentence.  An independent clause is a complete sentence which includes a subject and a verb.  In addition, the independent clause has meaning unto itself and can stand alone.  On the other hand, a dependent clause has no meaning in itself and thus, is a fragment.  In order to have meaning, the dependent clause must be combined with an independent clause.  Dependent clauses include an introductory word identifying the type of clause, a subject, and a verb.  There are three kinds of dependent clauses: adverb clauses,  adjective clauses, and noun clauses.  When the dependent clause begins the sentence, a comma is used.  When it follows the main clause, no comma is used.

Adverb clauses work as single-word adverbs and modify verbs.  They are introduced with words called subordinating conjunctions.  They answer where, when, why, and how questions.  There are several types of adverb clauses:
1. Time Clauses begin with words related to time: after, as soon as, before, since, until, when, while.  When the main clause is future, the adverb clause must always be in the present tense.
Examples:
I have studying at Union County College since I came to the United States.
                  After I finish ESL
, I will pursue a degree in Computer Science.
2. Clauses of Contrast  indicate a meaning of contrast between the main and subordinate clause.  They are introduced with although, even though, in spite of the fact that, though, while.
Examples: Although I registered late, I was able to get all my required courses.
                 In spite of the fact that I didn't have my driver's license, I wasn't stopped by a police officer. 
3. Clauses of Reason answer why questions.  They are introduced with because and since.  Do not confuse since with the since that introduces a Time Clause.
Examples: Since I left my wallet home, I went back to get it.
4. Clauses of Purpose are similar to meaning to clauses of reason.  They are introduced with in order that and so that.  Clauses of Purpose usually use a modal.  When the subordinating conjunction so that is used the "that" may be eliminated.  However, so not confuse the subordinating conjunction so with the coordinating conjunction.
Examples: I went to the library so (that) I could research my topic. (Purpose)
                 I spent a lot of time at the library researching my topic, so I found some interesting articles.
4. Clauses of Condition indicate a situation that occurs when a certain condition exists.  They are introduced with if, unless, and whether.  Like Time Clause, the present tense is always used when the main clause is in the future.
Examples: If I get accepted into the nursing program, I will begin my courses in the fall.
                  Unless I get a raise, I will quit my job.
5. Clauses of Place answer the question where and are introduced with where or wherever.
Example:    I'll deposit my paycheck where I have an account.
6. Clauses of Result indicate a cause and effect relationship, are introduced with so...that.  They have the same meaning as the coordinating conjunction "so."  These clauses are used with a modal.
Examples:  I went to the library to research my topic, but it was so crowded that I had to leave.
                  (Clause of Result)
                  I spent a lot of time at the library researching my topic, so I found some interesting articles. (Compound Sentence with a result)

Reduced Adverb Clauses
When the subjects of the dependent and independent clauses are the same, the adverb clause can be reduced to a phrase.
Examples:    After studying, I went to the mall.  (Reduced from: After I finished studying, I went to the
                    mall.)

                    Since coming to the United States, my English has really improved.  (Reduced from: Since I
                    came to the United States
, my English has really improved.