Relative Adverbs Examples
In complex sentences, the dependent, or subordinate, clause functions as an adjective or an adverb. When the dependent clause functions as an adjective, it is called a relative clause. Relative clauses give more information about a noun in the sentence, and they begin with a relative pronoun or a relative adverb.
Relative adverbs are adverbs that are being used to introduce the relative clause.
Examples of Common Relative Adverbs:
when, where, why
When the "when, where, and why" is give you more information about a noun (or answering "which one" or "what kind"), then it is functioning as an adjective.
The difference between relative adverbs and subordinating conjunctions is one of the most confusing aspects of English grammar. A good rule of thumb to use is that the relative clause usually cannot be moved in the sentence-it needs to stay with the noun that it modifies. With adverb clauses that are introduced with subordinating conjunctions, the clause can usually be moved in the sentence without changing meaning.
Examples of Relative Adverbs Used in Sentences
The relative adverb is in bold; the relative clause is italicized.
This is the house where I grew up.
The moment when I saw Jeffrey trip and fall, I started to laugh uncontrollably.
The reason why I cannot come to the party is something that I don't really want to share with you.
Meet me at the place where we first promised to be best friends forever.
Do you remember that time when we went swimming with the dolphins?
The month when I was born is the shortest month of the year.
The location where the crossing guard stands is the safest place to cross the street each morning.
Could you help me figure out why Claudia was upset with me at the party?