What Is an Adverbial Phrase?
Adverbial Phrases: Structure
Adverbial Phrases Made with Prepositions
Adverbial phrases can be made with most prepositions. In this case, the prepositional phrase functions as an adverb in the sentence, as it modifies the verb. It is both a prepositional phrase and an adverbial phrase. Take a look at some examples:
In summer, we often slept
'Under the stars' is a phrase that uses the preposition 'under' and the object 'stars', and modifies the verb 'slept'.
I arrived in Colorado
Adverbial Phrases Made with Infinitives
Some adverbial phrases can consist of the infinitive form of a verb. Most of these phrases express purpose. Take a look at these examples:
She stepped outside
I left early
Adverbial Phrases Made with Intensifiers
Another kind of adverbial phrase is made with an intensifier which modifies the degree or intensity of the action or state described by the verb, e.g., 'very,' 'extremely,' 'really,' etc. Take a look at some examples:
The traffic's moving
The students studied
Adverbial Phrases: Functions
Adverbial Phrases of Time
Adverbial phrases of time describe when or how often something happens. For example:
The bats hunt
Describing 'when' something happens.
Describing 'how often' something happens.
Adverbial Phrases of Reason
Adverbial phrases of reason describe why something happens or is done. For example:
The bats hang upside down
Adverbial Phrases of Place
Adverbial phrases of place describe where something happens. For example:
The bats live
Adverbial Phrases of manner
These phrases describe how something happens or is done. For example:
The bats fly
Adverbial Phrases: Position in a Sentence
Adverbials at the Beginning of a Sentence
To emphasize an adverbial, you can put it at the beginning of a clause.
Adverbial Phrase vs. Adverbial Clause
An adverbial phrase is a phrase that functions as an adverb.
An adverbial clause is a dependent clause that functions as an adverb.
While an adverbial clause has both a subject and a predicate, an adverbial phrase has neither.
: The game will take place
This is an adverbial phrase as it does not contain a subject and a verb.
The game will take place
This is an adverbial clause as it contains a subject "both teams" and a verb "are."
The scene was filmed
The scene was filmed
In this adverbial clause, the subject is "the bridge" and the verb is "crosses."
Adverbial phrases are made of multiple adverbs and give more information about the sentence. They are made of prepositions, infinitives, or intensifiers. They are placed:
- after the main verb
- after the object or complement
- at the beginning of a clause to emphasize
- What Is an Adverbial Phrase?
- Adverbial Phrases: Position in a Sentence
- Adverbial Phrase vs. Adverbial Clause
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