Unit 4.2

# Temporal Clause

Syntax

A temporal clause is composed of the independent clause and the dependent clause, which are linked by time connectors. These connectors 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 1* + , + clause 2;
• Clause 1 + connector + clause 2.

*The clauses are made up with subject + verb.

## Connectors

• Before;
• After;
• When;
• While.
1. Before
• Before I go to work, I drink a coffee.
I drink a coffee before I go to work.
• Before she wears the hat, she combs her hair.
She combs her hair before she wears the hat.
• Before it starts raining, we should leave.
We should leave before it starts raining.
2. After
• After you fainted, the ambulance came.
The ambulance came after you fainted.
• After he learnt about his problem, the boss was more tolerant with him.
The boss was more tolerant with him after he learnt about his problems.
• After we got to know her, we realised she was selfish.
We realised she was selfish after we got to know her.
3. When
• When I met her, I was very polite.
I was very polite when I met her.
• When they were sleeping, the light was on.
The light was on when they were sleeping.
4. While
• While he is doing the exercise, he feels good.
He feels good while he is doing the exercise.
• While you and your neighbour were fighting, we called the police.
We called the police while you and your neighbour were fighting.

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:

• Before (previous event);
• After (subsequent event);
• When (in a specific moment);
• 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.

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

The structures are as follows:

• Connector + clause 1* + , + clause 2;
• Clause 1 + connector + clause 2.

*The clauses are made up with subject + verb.

For example:
— “I’ll have a shower before dinner.” = “The shower” is the first event to take place and “the dinner” the second.
— “I’ll have a shower after dinner.” =  “The dinner” is the first event to take place and “the shower” the second.
— “I’ll have a shower when the water gets warmer.” = “The shower” will be had in the moment in which “the water gets warmer“.
— “I’ll have a shower while you cook dinner.” = The two events happen 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.