Adverb Clauses with Expressions of Cause and Effect

These type of clauses explain the reasons for what happens in the main clause. Example: He bought a new home because he got a better job.. Take a look at the chart below to study the various usages of different expressions of cause and effect. Note that all of these expressions are synonyms of ‘because’.

Punctuation

When an adverb clause begins the sentence use a comma to separate the two clauses. Example: Because he had to work late, we had dinner after nine o’clock.. When the adverb clause finishes the sentence there is no need for a comma. Example: We had dinner after nine o’clock because he had to work late.

For more information about how to use these words click on the link for an explanation of the usage.

Adverb Clauses of Cause and Effect

Because

  • They received a high mark on their exam because they had studied hard.
  • I’m studying hard because I want to pass my exam.
  • He works a lot of overtime because his rent is so expensive

Notice how because can be used with a variety of tenses based on the time relationship between the two clauses.

Since

  • Since he loves music so much, he decided to go to a conservatory.
  • They had to leave early since their train left at 8.30.

‘Since’ means the same as because. ‘Since’ tends to be used in more informal spoken English. Important note: “Since” when used as a conjunction is typically used to refer to a period of time, while “because” implies a cause or reason.

As long as

  • As long as you have the time, why don’t you come for dinner?

‘As long as’ means the same as because. ‘As long as’ tends to be used in more informal spoken English.

As

  • As the test is difficult, you had better get some sleep.

‘As’ means the same as because. ‘As’ tends to be used in more formal, written English.

Inasamuch as

  • Inasmuch as the students had succesfully completed their exams, their parents rewarded their efforts by giving them a trip to Paris.

‘Inasmuch as’ means the same as because. ‘Inasmuch as’ is used in very formal, written English.

Due to the fact that

  • We will be staying for an extra week due to the fact that we haven not yet finished.

‘Due to the fact that’ means the same as because. ‘Due to the fact that’ is generally used in very formal, written English.

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Using Adverb Clauses to Express Conditions

These type of clauses are often called “if clauses” in English grammar books and follow conditional sentence patterns. Take a look at the chart below to study the various usage of different time expressions.

Punctuation

When an adverb clause begins the sentence use a comma to separate the two clauses. Example: If he comes, we will have some lunch.. When the adverb clause finishes the sentence there is no need for a comma. Example: He would have invited me if he had known.

If

  • If we win, we’ll go to Kelly’s to celebrate!
  • She would buy a house, if she had enough money.

‘If’ clauses express the conditions necessary for the result. If clauses are followed by expected results based on the condition.

Even if

  • Even if she saves a lot, she won’t be able to afford that house.

In contrast to sentences with ‘if’ sentences with ‘even if’ show a result that is unexpected based on the condition in the ‘even if’ clause. Example: COMPARE: If she studies hard, she will pass the exam AND Even if she studies hard, she won’t pass the exam.

Whether or not

  • They won’t be able to come whether or not they have enough money.
  • Whether they have money or not, they won’t be able to come.

‘Whether or not’ expresses the idea that neither one condition or another matters; the result will be the same. Notice the possibility of inversion (Whether they have money or not) with ‘whether or not’.

Unless

  • Unless she hurries up, we won’t arrive in time.
  • We won’t go unless he arrives soon.

‘Unless’ expresses the idea of ‘if not’ Example: Unless she hurries up, we won’t arrive in time. MEANS THE SAME AS: If she doesn’t hurry up, we won’t arrive in time. ‘Unless’ is only used in the first conditional.

In case (that), in the event (that)

  • In the case you need me, I’ll be at Tom’s.
  • I’ll be studying upstairs in the event he calls.

‘In case’ and ‘in the event’ usually mean that you don’t expect something to happen, but if it does… Both are used primarily for future events.

Only if

  • We’ll give you your bicycle only if you do well on your exams.
  • Only if you do well on your exams will we give you your bicycle.

‘Only if’ means ‘only in the case that something happens – and only if’. This form basically means the same as ‘if’. However, it does stress the condition for the result. Note that when ‘only if’ begins the sentence you need to invert the main clause.

Adverb Clauses to Show Opposition

These type of clauses show an unexpected or non self-evident result based on the dependent clause. Example: He bought the car even though it was expensive. Take a look at the chart below to study the various usages of adverb clauses showing opposition.

Punctuation

When an adverb clause begins the sentence use a comma to separate the two clauses. Example: Even though the it was expensive, he bought the car.. When the adverb clause finishes the sentence there is no need for a comma. Example: He bought the car even though it was expensive.

For more information about how to use these words click on the link for an explanation of the usage.

Adverb Clauses Showing Opposition

Even though, though, although

  • Even though it was expensive, he bought the car.
  • Though he loves doughnuts, he has given them up for his diet.
  • Although he course was difficult, he passed with the highest marks.

Notice how ‘though, even though’ or ‘although’ show a situation which is contrary to the main clause to express opposition. Even though, though and although are all synonyms.

Whereas, while

  • Whereas you have lots of time to do your homework, I have very little time indeed.
  • Mary is rich, while I am poor.

‘Whereas’ and ‘while’ show clauses in direct opposition to each other. Notice that you should always use a comma with ‘whereas’ and ‘while’.

Using Adverb Clauses with Time Expressions

The first page focuses on adverb clauses which are often called “time clauses” in English grammar books and follow specific patterns. Take a look at the chart below to study the various usage of different time expressions.

Punctuation

When an adverb clause begins the sentence, use a comma to separate the two clauses. Example: As soon as he arrives, we will have some lunch. When the adverb clause finishes the sentence, there is no need for a comma. Example: He gave me a call when he arrived in town.

Adverb Clauses with Time

When

  • He was talking on the phone when I arrived.
  • When she called, he had already eaten lunch.
  • I washed the dishes when my daughter fell asleep.
  • We’ll go to lunch when you come to visit.

‘When’ means ‘at that moment, at that time, etc.’. Notice the different tenses used in relationship to the clause beginning with when. It is important to remember that ‘when’ takes either the simple past OR the present – the dependent clause changes tense in relation to the ‘when’ clause.

Before

  • We will finish before he arrives.
  • She (had) left before I telephoned.

‘Before’ means ‘before that moment’. It is important to remember that ‘before’ takes either the simple past OR the present.

After

  • We will finish after he comes.
  • She ate after I (had) left.

‘After’ means ‘after that moment’. It is important to remember that ‘after’ takes the present for future events and the past OR past perfect for past events.

While, as

  • She began cooking while I was finishing my homework.
  • As I was finishing my homework, she began cooking.

‘While’ and ‘as’ mean ‘during that time’. ‘While’ and ‘as’ are both usually used with the past continuous because the meaning of ‘during that time’ which indicates an action in progess.

By the time

  • By the time he finished, I had cooked dinner.
  • We will have finished our homework by the time they arrive.

‘By the time’ expresses the idea that one event has been completed before another. It is important to notice the use of the past perfect for past events and future perfect for future events in the main clause. This is because of the idea of something happening up to another point in time.

Until, till

  • We waited until he finished his homework.
  • I’ll wait till you finish.

‘Until’ and ’till’ express ‘up to that time’. We use either the simple present or simple past with ‘until’ and ’till’. ‘Till’ is usually only used in spoken English.

Since

  • I have played tennis since I was a young boy.
  • They have worked here since 1987.

‘Since’ means ‘from that time’. We use the present perfect (continuous) with ‘since’. ‘Since’ can also be used with a specific point in time.

As soon as

  • He will let us know as soon as he decides (or as soon as he has decided).
  • As soon as I hear from Tom, I will give you a telephone call.

‘As soon as’ means ‘when something happens – immediately afterwards’. ‘As soon as’ is very similar to ‘when’ it emphasizes that the event will occur immediately after the other. We usually use the simple present for future events, although present perfect can also be used.

Whenever, every time

  • Whenever he comes, we go to have lunch at “Dick’s”.
  • We take a hike every time he visits.

‘Whenever’ and ‘every time’ mean ‘each time something happens’. We use the simple present (or the simple past in the past) because ‘whenever’ and ‘every time’ express habitual action.

The first, second, third, fourth etc., next, last time

  • The first time I went to New York, I was intimidated by the city.
  • I saw Jack the last time I went to San Francisco.
  • The second time I played tennis, I began to have fun.

The first, second, third, fourth etc., next, last time means ‘that specific time’. We can use these forms to be more specific about which time of a number of times something happened.

Discourse Markers (Linking Your Ideas in English)

Some words and phrases help to develop ideas and relate them to one another. These kinds of words and phrases are often called discourse markers. Note that most of these discourse markers are formal and used when speaking in a formal context or when presenting complicated information in writing.

with regard to; regarding; as regards; as far as ……… is concerned, as for

These expressions focus attention on what follows in the sentence. This is done by announcing the subject in advance. As regards and as far as………is concerned usually indicate a change of subject

Examples:

His grades in science subjects are excellent. As regards humanities …
With regard to the latest market figures we can see that …
Regarding our efforts to improve the local economy, we have made …
As far as I am concerned, we should continue to develop our resources.
As for John’s thoughts, let’s take a look at this report he sent me.

on the other hand; while; whereas

These expressions give expression to two ideas which contrast but do not contradict each other.

Examples:

Football is popular in England, while in Australia they prefer cricket.
We’ve been steadily improving our customer service center. On the other hand our shipping department needs to be redesigned.
Jack thinks we’re ready to begin whereas Tom things we still need to wait.

however, nonetheless, nevertheless

All these words are used to present two contrasting ideas.

Examples:

Smoking is proved to be dangerous to the health. Nonetheless, 40% of the population smokes.
Our teacher promised to take us on a field trip. However, he changed his mind last week.
Peter was warned not to invest all of his savings in the stock market. Nevertheless, he invested and lost everything.

moreover, furthermore, in addition

We use these expressions to add information to what has been said. The usage of these words is much more elegant than just making a list or using the conjunction ‘and’.

Examples:

His problems with his parents are extremely frustrating. Moreover, there seems to be no easy solution to them.
I assured him that I would come to his presentation. Furthermore, I also invited a number of important representatives from the local chamber of commerce.
Our energy bills have been increasing steadily. In addition to these costs, our telephone costs have doubled over the past six months.

therefore, as a result, consequently

These expressions show that the second statement follows logically from the first statement.

Examples:

He reduced the amount of time studying for his final exams. As a result, his marks were rather low.
We’ve lost over 3,000 customers over the past six months. Consequently, we have been forced to cut back our advertising budget.
The government has drastically reduced its spending. Therefore, a number of programs have been canceled.

Telling Stories (Sequencing Your Ideas)

Telling stories is common in any language. Think of all the situations in which you can tell a story:

  • Talking about your past to a friend
  • Giving details about something that happened during a job interview
  • Relating information about your family to your children
  • Telling colleagues about what happened on a business trip

In each of these situations – and many others – you provide information about something that happened in the past. In order to help your audience understand, you need to link these ideas together. One of the most important ways to link ideas is to sequence them. Sequencing refers to the order in which events happened. These are some of the most common ways to sequence in writing or speaking:

Beginning:

Firstly,
First of all,
To start off with,
Initially,

Examples:

Firstly, I began my education in London.
First of all, I opened the cupboard.
To start off with, we decided our destination was New York.
Initially, I thought it was a bad idea, …

Continuing:

Then,
After that,
Next,
As soon as / When + full clause,
… but then
Immediately,

Examples:

Then, I started to get worried.
After that, we knew that there would be no problem!
Next, we decided on our strategy.
As soon as we arrived, we unpacked our bags.
We were sure everything was ready, but then we discovered some unexpected problems.
Immediately, I telephoned my friend Tom.

Interruptions / New Elements to the Story:

Suddenly,
Unexpectedly,

Examples:

Suddenly, a child burst into the room with a note for Ms. Smith.
Unexpectedly, the people in the room didn’t agree with the mayor.

Events Occurring at the Same Time

While / As + full clause
During + noun (noun clause)

Examples:

While we were getting ready for the trip, Jennifer was making the reservations at the travel agent’s.
During the meeting, Jack came over and asked me a few questions.

Ending:

Finally,
In the end,
Eventually,
Lastly,

Examples:

Finally, I flew to London for my meeting with Jack.
In the end, he decided to postpone the project.
Eventually, we became tired and returned home.
Lastly, we felt we had had enough and went home.


Heart – Idioms and Expressions

Heart – Idioms and Expressions

Break someone’s heart

Definition: hurt someone, usually romantically, or to cause some great disappointment

Angela broke Brad’s heart last year. He can’t get over her.
I think losing the job broke his heart.

Cross your heart and hope to die

Definition: Phrase meaning that you swear you are telling the truth

I cross my heart and hope to die. She’s coming tomorrow!
Do you cross your heart and hope to die? I won’t believe you otherwise.

Eat your heart out

Definition: to be jealous or envious of someone else

I’m going to New York next week. Eat your heart out!
When he hears about your promotion he’ll eat his heart out.

Follow your heart

Definition: Do what you believe is right

I think you should follow your heart and move to Chicago.
She said she had to follow her heart and marry Peter, even if her parents didn’t approve.

From the bottom of my heart

Definition: Usually used in the first person, this phrase means that you are completely sincere

You’re the best player on the basketball team. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
I think you are a wonderful person. Really, I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Get at the heart of the matter

Definition: Discuss the main issue, concern

I’d like to get at the heart of the matter by discussing our marketing proposals.
She didn’t waste any time and got right to the heart of the matter.

Be halfhearted about something

Definition: Not do or take something completely seriously

I wish you weren’t so halfhearted about this new project! Get serious!
She was rather halfhearted in her attempts to find a job.

Have a change of heart

Definition: Change one’s mind

Fred had a change of heart and invited the young boy into his home.
I wish you would have a change of heart about Tim. He really deserves some help.

Have a heart of gold

Definition: Be very trustworthy and well meaning

Peter has a heart of gold if you give him the chance to prove himself.
You an trust her. She has a heart of gold.

Have a heart of stone

Definition: Be cold, unforgiving

She’ll never understand your position. She has a heart of stone.
Don’t expect any pity from me. I have a heart of stone.

Have a heart-to-heart talk

Definition: Have an open and honest discussion with someone

I think it’s time we had a heart-to-heart talk about your grades.
She called her friend Betty to have a heart-to-heart talk with her about her problems.

Have your heart in the right place / One’s heart in the right place

Definition: To mean well, have the right intentions
Come on, you know John has his heart in the right place. He just made a mistake.

Know something by heart / learn something by heart

Definition: Know something such as lines in a play, or music perfectly, to be able to perform something by memory

He knew all his lines by heart two weeks before the performance.
You need to learn this piece by heart next week.

Have one’s heart set on something / set against something

Definition: Absolutely want something / Absolutely not want something

She has her heart set on winning the medal.
Frank has his heart set against his promotion. There’s nothing I can do to help him.

One’s heart misses a beat / One’s heart skips a beat

Definition: To be completely surprised by something

My heart missed a beat when I heart the news that she was pregnant.
She was so surprised by the announcement hat her heart skipped a beat.

Pour one’s heart out

Definition: Confess or confide in someone

I poured my heart out to Tim when I discovered that I hadn’t received the promotion.
I wish you would pour your heart out to someone. You need to get these feelings out.

Take heart

Definition: Have courage

You should take heart and try your best.
Take heart. The worst is over.