Adverb Clauses of Cause, Effect, and Comparison

Chances are you have read our article on adverbial clauses of time, place, condition, and manner. Here, you’ll learn how to build and use adverb clauses of cause (starting with “because”, “since”, “as”), effect (“so…that” and “such…that”), and comparison (“than” or “as…as”).

Adverb clauses, which belong to dependent clauses or subordinate clauses, always modify something in the independent clause of the sentence. Adverb clauses are different from noun clauses and adjective clauses that we will discuss in separate lessons.

Here’s a good video from engVid that explains adverb clauses:

Clause of Cause

Clause of cause are used to show why something happens. These clauses begin with conjunctions like ‘because’, ‘since’, and ‘as’:

  • I listen to classical music because it sounds beautiful.
  • Since you’re so kind to me, I will help you.
  • As it was so sunny, he walked to the park.
Note: ‘because’ is more common in informal conversation than ‘since’  or ‘as.’

Clause of Effect

Clauses of effect tell us about consequences. They often begin with ‘so…that’, and ‘such…that’.

We usually put an adjective between ‘so’ and ‘that.’ We can put an adjective and a noun (or just a noun) between ‘such’ and ‘that’:

  • I was so tired that I couldn’t stay awake.
  • The meal was so delicious that made it again the next day.
  • Uma is such a good runner that nobody can catch her.

Clause of Comparison

Clauses of comparison are used to compare two things or ideas. They often begin with ‘than’ or ‘as…as’:

  • My brother is older than my sister.
  • She is as beautiful as her mother.
  • I am stronger than I look.
  • That restaurant is not as good as it used to be.
Note: We can use ‘than to introduce a clause after a comparative adjective, adverb or noun phrase.
The clause is usually reduced or one with a substitute verb ‘do:

– The house was bigger than we had imagined.
– He always spent more money than George did. (more money than George spent.)
Note: We can use a that-clause after a superlative (‘that’ can be omitted):

– It was the biggest fire (that) anyone had ever seen.

Read more on this topic:

Adverb clauses of cause or reason

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