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Adverbialisation is the process of forming sentences with Adverbs and Adverbial Clauses in them. In adverbial clauses, there are Sentence adjuncts and Predicate Phrase adjuncts. Sentence adjuncts modify the entire sentence and are often comment on the sentence. Pred Phr adjunct modifies only part of the Pred Phr —viz. the verb.

Sentence Adjuncts

      1. Briefly, there is nothing I can do about it.
      2. Frankly, I’m tired.
      3. Fortunately, no one complained.
      4. They are probably at home.
      5. She wisely didn’t attempt to apologize.
      6. Unfortunately, the man died.

Predicate Phrase Adjuncts

      1. We haven’t yet finished it.
      2. Proudly he showed his diploma to his parents.
      3. I can now understand it.
      4. He spoke to me about it briefly.
      5. She criticized him frankly.
      6. They are waiting outside.

Features of Adverbs/Adverbials

  1. Flexible with respect to word order.
    • Can appear initially,
    • Finally
    • Between subject and predicate
    • Between the auxiliary and the main verb
    • Between the verb and the complement, etc.
  1. Sentence adjuncts are arbitrarily placed at the beginning and Pred Phr adjuncts at the end of the string. From these positions, they are shifted by a transformation known as Adverb Shifting.
  1. Sentence adjuncts can appear initially in a negative declarative sentence.

E.g., Frankly, I’m not tired.

But Predicate Phrase adjunct cannot do so, without a drastic change in meaning.

  1. Adverbs as Predicate Phrase modifiers can be contrasted with other adverbs in disjunctive interrogatives. Adverbs as sentence modifiers cannot.

E.g., a) Did he accept his defeat shamefully or did he accept it proudly? (Predicate Phrase adjunct)
b) Did he accept his defeat probably or did he accept it possibly? (Sentence adjunct -ungrammatical)

  1. Adverbs can modify practically anything, and not just verbs.

An easily intelligible explanation. (modifier of the adjective)
The example above. (modifier of NP)
Roughly half the amount. (modifier of pre-determiner)

Adverbial Clauses Examples

    1. I didn’t work out the problems because I was lazy. (Adverbial Clause of Reason)
    2. If you don’t work out the problems you won’t understand the lesson. (of Condition)
    3. Though I read the article a dozen times, I couldn’t understand it. (of Concession)
    4. Reaching the river, we pitched camp for the night. (of Time)
    5. They hunted him as a tiger stalks its prey. (of Manner)
    6. We planted hundreds of shrubs so that by August the garden had improved out of all recognition. (of Result)
    7. In order to catch the culprits, elaborate plans were made. (of Purpose)
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Devika Panikar
δάσκαλος (dáskalos) means the teacher in Greek. Devika Panikar has been teaching English Language and Literature since 2006. She is an Assistant Professor with the Directorate of Collegiate Education under the Government of Kerala. She teaches at the Government Colleges under this directorate and is now posted at the Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. This website is a collection of lecture notes she prepared by referencing various sources for her students’ perusal. It has been compiled here for the sake of future generations.