Reduced adverb clauses ( methods, examples and practice set)

This lesson will help you understand what a reduced adverb clause is, and how to reduce an adverb clause to an adverbial/adverb phrase.

Before we understand what reduced adverb clauses are, how to reduce them, and why to reduce them, let’s look at some examples of reduced adverb clauses, not trying to understand the technicalities behind them right now.

Examples of reduced adverb clauses:

  • While I was going to work, I saw something unusual. (Adverb clause)
  • While going to work, I saw something unusual. (Reduced adverb clause)
  • After I finish the work, I’ll join you guys. (Adverb clause)
  • After finishing the work, I’ll join you guys. (Reduced adverb clause)
  • We are definitely going to start our business after we leave this job. (Adverb clause)
  • We are definitely going to start our business after leaving this job. (Reduced adverb clause)
  • Since I was taking my class, I couldn’t pick up your phone. (Adverb clause)
  • Taking my class, I couldn’t pick up your phone. (Reduced adverb clause)
    or
  • Because of taking my class, I couldn’t pick up your phone. (Reduced adverb clause)
  • Though he was super busy, he came out to see me. (Adverb clause)
  • Though being super busy, he came out to see me. (Reduced adverb clause)
  • Because I’m the head trainer, I have to take responsibilities for all the complaints. (Adverb clause)
  • Being the head trainer, I have to take responsibilities for all the complaints. (Reduced adverb clause)

So, now we know how reduced adverb clauses look like. They are a shorter version of an adverb clause. Having understood how reduced adverb clauses look like, let’s understand what they are, why we use them, and how to reduce them to adverb phrases, also called adverbial phrases.

What is a reduced adverb clause?

A reduced adverb clause is a more precise and accurate form of an adverb clause. It is formed out of an adverb clause by removing some parts that are extra or unnecessary. We can reduce an adverb clause to an adverb phrase only when the subject of both the main clause and the adverb clause are the same.

Why do we reduce an adverb clause?

We reduce an adverb clause to an adverb phrase or adverbial phrase to make a sentence look more precise by removing the unnecessary information out of it. Note that reducing an adverb clause to an adverb phrase doesn’t change the original meaning of the adverb clause.

Now, please note that not all types of adverb clauses can be reduced to adverb phrases. Here are the only 3 types of adverb clauses that can be reduced to adverb phrases:

  • Adverb clause of reason
  • Adverb clause of time
  • Adverb clause of concession or contrast

How to change an adverb clause to an adverb phrase?

The way we change an adverb clause to an adverb phrase is decided by the structure of the adverb clause. Let’s understand how different kinds of adverb clauses are reduced to adverb phrases in different cases (structures).

Structure 1: Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb + present participle

If an adverb clause has such a structure, we reduce it to an adverb phrase by removing the subordinating conjunction (only with an adverb clause of reason), subject, and the ‘to be a form of a verb’.

Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb + present participle

Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb BEING + present participle

  • To be form a verb = is, am, are, was, were
  • Present participle = V1+ing

Adverb clause of reason

  • Because I was working on an important thing, I had to cancel the plan.
  • Working on an important thing, I had to cancel the plan.
    or
  • Because of working on an important thing, I had to cancel the plan.

Note: we can also keep the conjunction ‘because’ in the reduced adverb clause of reason. But in that case, we have to use the preposition ‘of’ after it.

  • Since he is moving to Bangalore next week, he is buying some furniture.
  • Moving to Bangalore next week, he is buying some furniture.
    or
  • Because of moving to Bangalore next week, he is buying some furniture.
  • She slapped you at the party as she was being pushed by you.
  • Being pushed by you, she slapped you at the party.

Note that the adverb clause in the last example is in the passive form. In the passive form, the structure will be the following: Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb(is/am/are/was/were) + being + past participle (V3)

  • Jon will help you as he is not doing anything right now.
  • Not doing anything right now, Jon will help you.
  • I didn’t buy that car as I was not carrying enough money.
  • Not carrying enough money, I didn’t buy that car.

Note that if the adverb clause is negative, we use ‘not‘ before the present participle. And also note that we place the reduced adverb clause at the beginning of the sentence even if the adverb clause was placed at the end originally.

NOTE: when we change adverb clauses of time and adverb clauses of concession, we don’t remove the subordinating conjunction. It’s only possible with adverb clauses of reason.

Adverb clause of place

  • Before we were playing there, we were enjoying the match as spectators.
  • Before playing there, we were enjoying the match as spectators.
  • While I was recording the video, I got a call from her.
  • While recording the video, I got a call from her.
  • He sliced his fingers while he was chopping vegetables.
  • While chopping vegetables, he sliced his fingers.

Note that with adverb clauses of place, in this structure, we don’t remove the subordinating conjunction from the adverb clause while reducing it to the adverb phrase of place.

Adverb clause of concession

  • Although we were winning the match, we were really stressed about it.
  • Although winning the match, we were really stressed about it.
  • Though I am doing my dream job, I’m not happy.
  • Though doing my dream job, I’m not happy.

Structure 2: Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb + past participle

When an adverb clause has such a structure, we remove the subject and change the verb be to ‘BEING’ in order to reduce it to an adverb phrase. Also note that this structure is in the passive voice.

Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb (is/am/are/was/were) + past participle (V3) + object/modifier (optional)

Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb (is/am/are/was/were) + BEING + past participle (V3) + object/modifier (optional)

Adverb clause of reason

  • Because he was frustrated from his job, he started drinking.
  • Being frustrated from his job, he started drinking.
  • Because of being frustrated from his job, he started drinking.
  • As I was requested by your father, I forced you to join the course.
  • Being requested by your father, I forced you to join the course.
  • Because we were threatened to leave our place, we called the police.
  • Being threatened to leave our place, we called the police.
  • Since I was offered my dream job, I accepted it immediately.
  • Being offered my dream job, I accepted it immediately.

NOTE: if the verb ‘to be’ is in the past perfect tense, we use a different structure to change the adverb clause to reduced adverb clause.

  • Adverb clause: S.O + subject + had been + past participle + MAIN CLAUSE
  • Reduced adverb clause: Having been + past participle + MAIN CLAUSE
  • Because he had been tortured on a daily basis, he ran away from my home.
  • Having been tortured on a daily basis, he ran away from his home.

Adverb clause of time

  • I started training after I was challenged by him.
  • After being challenged by Ron, I started training.
  • Before you were asked to dance, you had been drinking.
  • Before being asked to dance, you had been drinking.

Adverb clause of concession

  • Although we are ordered to do this by the court, we will not do it.
  • Although being ordered to do this by the court, we will not do it.
  • Even though he was paid well, he didn’t complete the work on time.
  • Even though/after being paid well, he didn’t complete the work on time.

NOTE: ‘Even after‘ focuses on the concession, not on the time.

Structure 3: Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb + adjective/adjective phrase

When an adverb clause has such a structure, it is reduced to an adverb phrase by removing the subordinating conjunction and the subject, and changing the ‘to be form of the verb’ to ‘BEING.’

Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb + adjective/adjective phrase

Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb BEING + adjective/adjective phrase

Adverb clause of reason

  • He would get free food as he was very popular in the college.
  • Being very popular in the college, he would get free food.
  • Since I am amazing at coding, I can help you with this assignment.
  • Being amazing at coding, I can help you with this assignment.
  • Because she is talented, she got that job in Google.
  • Being talented, she got that job in Google.
  • As he was upset with me, he didn’t pick up my call.
  • Being upset with me, he didn’t pick up my call.

Adverb clause of time

  • Before they were extremely sensitive, they used to win all the debate competitions.
  • Before being extremely sensitive, they used to win all the debate competitions.
  • Once I am satisfied, I will stop eating.
  • Being satisfied, I will stop eating.
    or
  • On being satisfied, I will stop eating.
  • Before you were rude to people, you had a lot of friends.
  • Before being rude to people, you had a lot of friends.
  • Before I was rich, I was working as a waiter.
  • Before being rich, I was working as a waiter.

NOTE: when we reduce an adverb clause of place to an adverb phrase, we don’t remove the subordinating conjunction as it is important to talk about the time reference.

Adverb clause of concession

  • Though I was rich, I was never happy with my life.
  • Though being rich, I was never happy with my life.
  • Even though she was kind to everyone, she didn’t have a single friend.
  • Even after being kind to everyone, she didn’t have a single friend.

Structure 4: Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb + noun/noun phrase

Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb + noun/noun phrase

Subordinating conjunction + subject + to be verb BEING + noun/noun phrase

Adverb clause of reason

  • Because I am your friend, I deserve to know your problems.
  • Being your friend, I deserve to know your problems.
  • As she was my teacher, she had the right to say anything.
  • Being my teacher, she had the right to say anything.
  • She often calls me and schools me like a kid since she is my best friend.
  • Being my best friend, she often calls me and schools me like a kid.

Adverb clause of time

  • Before you were an actor, you were a humble man.
  • Before being an actor, you were a humble man.
  • Before I was a rich man, I used to sleep on streets.
  • Before being a rich man, I used to sleep on streets.

NOTE: an adverb clause of time in this structure is very rare.

Adverb clause of concession

  • Even though I am your friend, I won’t support you in this.
  • Even after being your friend, I won’t support you in this.
  • He loves learning English from me though he is an English trainer.
  • Though being an English trainer, he loves learning English from me.

Structure 5: Subordinating conjunction + subject + V1/V2 + object/modifier

Subordinating conjunction + subject +V1/V2 + noun/noun phrase

Subordinating conjunction + subject +V1/V2 BEING + noun/noun phrase

Adverb clause of reason

  • I was there at 8 PM as I boarded the train on time.
  • Boarding the train on time, I was there at 8 PM.
  • Because of boarding the train on time, I was there at 8 PM.
  • Because she wanted to marry me, she talked to my parents.
  • Wanting to marry me, she talked to my parents.
  • I felt depressed for a couple of days as I left her.
  • Because of leaving her, I felt depressed for a couple of days.
  • She is exhausted right now as she had been working for hours.
  • Having worked for hours, she is exhausted right now.

Adverb clause of time

  • After we finished the match, we had a big party.
  • After finishing the match, we had a big party.
  • Before we entered the hall, we revised all the chapters.
  • Before entering the hall, we revised all the chapters.
  • As soon as I received the money, I bought a car for my mother.
  • On receiving the money, I bought a car for my mother.

Adverb clause of concession

  • Though I worked very hard, I couldn’t get the job.
  • Though working very hard, I couldn’t get the job.
  • Even though she sang beautifully, she didn’t win the competition.
  • Even after singing beautifully, she didn’t win the competition

Points to note!

  1. When we reduce an adverb clause of time and an adverb clause of concession to an adverb phrase, we don’t remove the subordinating conjunction.

    After I left the office, I went to his place.
    After leaving the office, I went to his place.

    Although I was sleeping, I could hear you.
    Although sleeping, I could hear you.

  2. When an adverb clause of reason is reduced to a phrase, we remove the subordinating conjunction.

    Because she was frustrated with him, she left him.
    Being frustrated with him, she left him.

  3. If the ‘to be verb’ is the main verb in the Past Perfect tense, we change it to ‘HAVING ‘ in the active voice and ‘HAVING BEEN’ in the passive voice.

    I was out of the senses as I had drunk a lot.
    Having drunk a lot, I was out of the senses.

    I was too excited for the party as I had been invited by Jon himself.
    Having been invited by Jon himself, I was too excited.

  4. If the subject of the main clause and the subject of the adverb clause are different, we can’t reduce the adverb clause.

    Because you are my friend, I will let you drive my car.
    Being my friend, I will let you drive my car. ❌

This brings us to the end of the lesson. Feel free to correct any typing mistake, and share the post with the ones that need it!


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