Relative Adverbs

What is a Relative Adeverb?

relative adverb is a type of subordinating conjunction that introduces an adverb clause or an adjective clause. Some examples of relative adverbs are the following: where, when, why.

Examples of Relative Adverbs

Some examples of relative adverbs (introducing adverb clauses) would be the following:

Look for the hot dog buns where the breads and pastries are located.

When she arrived home from the doctor, I greeted her with a big smile and a present.

With all his time spent studying, George couldn’t comprehend why he failed the exam.

Why You Should Use Relative Adverbs in Your Writing

Because relative adverbs are simply subordinating conjunctions that introduce dependent clauses to provide additional information, there are a handful of relative adverbs that can be used for specific purposes:

Why – provides a reason
When – provides a point in time
Where – provides a location

The reason we might use these relative adverbs in our writing is to connect ideas that are related and to provide more detail in our writing. Compare the following two sentences:

He found the treasure.
He found the treasure where the pirates had hidden it.

Notice how the second sentence with the relative adverb (and subsequent adverb clause) provides much more insight into the unique aspect of where he found the treasure (specifically, where the pirates had hidden it).

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Adverb Clauses and Relative Adverbs Worksheet

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