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Unit 4.2

Subordinate Clauses: Temporal Clauses

Syntax

Temporal clauses are part of the adverbial clauses which are composed of the independent and the dependent clauses, linked by connectors. The connectors of temporal clauses refer to a specific point of time.

The temporal clause can be expressed through two kinds of structures that differ in the order of words but not in meaning:

  • Connector + clause + , + clause;
  • Clause + connector + clause.

The clauses are made up with subject + verb. The connectors are: before, after, when and while.

  • Before
    • Before I go to work, I drink a coffee.
      I drink a coffee before I go to work.
    • Before it starts raining, we should leave.
      We should leave before it starts raining.
  • After
    • After you fainted, the ambulance came.
      The ambulance came after you fainted.
    • After we got to know her, we realized she was selfish.
      We realized she was selfish after we got to know her.
  • When
    • When she had a disease, she felt bad.
      She felt bad when she had a disease.
    • When they were sleeping, the light was on.
      The light was on when they were sleeping.
  • While
    • While you were reading, they had some coffee.
      They had some coffee while you were reading.
    • While he is doing the exercise, he feels good.
      He feels good while he is doing the exercise.

We use temporal clauses to form more complex sentences and locate an event in a specific moment or period. The temporal clause gets sense thanks to the following connectors:

  1. Before (previous event);
  2. After (subsequent event);
  3. When (in a specific moment);
  4. While (at the same time with another event).

Temporal clauses are used to form more complex sentences and locate an event in a specific moment or period. These clauses are usually composed of two parts: the independent clause and the dependent clause, which are linked by a connector.

The structures are as follows:

  • Connector + clause + , + clause;
  • Clause + connector + clause.

These connectors are: before, after, when and while.

For example:
Before dinner I’ll have a shower.” / “I’ll have a shower before dinner.” = The shower is the first event to take place and the dinner the second.
After dinner I’ll have a shower.” / “I’ll have a shower after dinner.” = The dinner is the first event to take place and the shower the second.
When the water gets warmer, I’ll have a shower.” / “I’ll have a shower when the water gets warmer.” – The  shower is the second event that will happen after the first event is done.
While you cook dinner, I’ll have a shower.” / “I’ll have a shower while you cook dinner.” = The two events happens at the same time.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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Subordinate Clauses: Temporal Clauses Copyright © 2016 by My Language Skills. All Rights Reserved.