Adverbs of Condition

What are Adverbs of Condition?

Adverbs of condition are adverbs that modify a sentence to present some uncertainty, possibility, or supposition about what is being stated. They can come in the form of adverbials, adverb phrases, adverbial clauses, and adverbial conjunctions.

For example, if you said “I would have gone if I had money,” the adverb of condition here is “if” which introduces a hypothetical situation – the speaker does not have money therefore they cannot go.

Clauses of condition usually imply that the action depends on something like in this example where it depends on whether or not the speaker has money. Furthermore, adverbs such as “perhaps” and “maybe” also illustrate this concept by conveying uncertainty. Adverbs of condition help us convey our thoughts and feelings while also making our language more creative and colourful.

Adverbs of Condition Rules

Learning these four critical rules when using adverbs of condition will help communication with dependent clauses become clearer and easier.

Exceptions with Modal VerbsPlacement ensures the adverb is in front of the main verb, even if there is a helping verb present. Modal verbs such as ‘can’ are exceptions, in which case the Adverb comes after rather than before them.
Frequency OrderIt is important to remember to place adverbs indicating more frequent actions first, such as ‘always’ before other ones like ‘sometimes’.
Additional AdverbsTwo adverbs cannot be used within one sentence without being separated by a comma or by pairing them with coordinating conjunctions such as ‘and’ or ‘but’.
Double NegativesWatch out for double negatives which can change the meaning of a phrase completely.
Adverbs of Condition Rules Chart
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Examples of Adverbs of Condition

Adverbs of condition are an incredibly useful part of the English language and can be used to express various states of possibility or likelihood. Some of the more common dependent clauses of condition are:

  • Probably
  • Perhaps
  • Presumably
  • Probably not

For example, if we were asking whether someone knew some information, we might say “Do you know the answer? Probably.”

These adverbs can be used in many other situations as well – for example, to respond to a suggestion like “Let’s go out for dinner tonight” we could say “Perhaps another night would be better, it’s already so late.”

A clause of condition gives words that add nuance and specificity to our conversations, which is why they are so important to understand and use.

Adverbs of Condition Exercises with Answers


_ you’re looking for a new job, be sure to update your CV”

_ you plan on taking the bus, it’s a good idea to fill up your car with petrol”

“Provided you have all the necessary documents, you _ have no trouble getting approval”

_ you clean your room, then you can have ice cream for dessert.”

“You will succeed _ you give up.”


If you’re looking for a new job, be sure to update your CV”

Unless you plan on taking the bus, it’s a good idea to fill up your car with petrol”

“Provided you have all the necessary documents, you should have no trouble getting approval”

If you clean your room, then you can have ice cream for dessert.”

“You will succeed unless you give up.”

Adverbs of Condition List

HopefullyUsed to express optimism or desires for positive outcomes.
PresumablyThis may indicate that something is possible but not certain.
OtherwiseImplies a potential consequence if something does not happen in one way.
ConsequentlyUsed to connect two thoughts or pieces of evidence.
PresumablyIndicates the potential for a certain outcome.
FinallyIndicates the end of a sequence or process.
SurelyExpresses certainty and fact.
Adverbs of Condition list and definitions
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Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners

Adverbs of condition can be a great tool for ESL students and English language learners. With adverbs, you can provide clarity to your writing or speaking while being descriptive. For example, adverbs help in adding nuance when giving advice such as ‘annoyingly’ or ‘definitely’. Paying attention to adverbs of condition is important for mastering the English language. They can express many shades of meaning that other adverb forms cannot convey, making them invaluable for those who are learning English. Understanding how adverbs of condition work, both in terms of grammar and usage can make ESL students more effective communicators and thus improve their English skills overall. Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand adverbs of time and adverbs of negation.

Common Mistakes Made by English Learners

English learners are often prone to making simple mistakes that can easily be avoided. One of the most common mistakes is misusing adverbs of condition, such as “until” or “unless”, when discussing hypothetical situations. Many English learners make the mistake of either omitting adverbs of condition entirely or using terms incorrectly. For example, many beginners underuse adverbs like “unless” in order to express conditions. Learning proper adverb usage is important for speaking and understanding English more effectively. Even small errors can have a big impact on how well your ideas are received, so it’s important to pay extra attention to adverb conditionals when learning English.

Common Mistakes:

1. Incorrect Tense

Why it Happens

Not having a firm grasp on correct tense usage can confuse your statements. This can cause you to use the wrong adverbs and misconstrue your message.

Correct Use

When speaking in the present simple tense, you would use an adverb that reflects current habits and routines (i.e. never, seldom). Keep tense in mind when selecting your adverbs.

2. Incorrect Repetition

Why it Happens

It can be easy to do, but using too many adverbs can cause a double negative. For example “I always never go there”. This is an obsolete statement because to “never” do something is to “always never” do it.

Correct Use

Avoid placing two condition adverbs together in one statement; this often ends up turning your sentence into a contradiction.

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3. Incorrect Context

Why it Happens

People don’t know how to decipher the difference between something that is happening now, and something that is ongoing.

Correct Use

If you want to express that something happened multiple times in the past but is not a continuous habit now, use ‘used to’ instead of ‘always’.

4. Incorrect Usage

Why it Happens

You don’t know which adverbs to use, so you use too many and it confuses the statement.

Correct Use

Using too many condition adverbs can make your writing sound monotonous and can also lead to viewers losing interest. Therefore it is important to focus on expressing yourself clearly and effectively with them.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes:

  • To avoid common mistakes with adverbs of condition, it is important to take note of sentence structure and subject-verb agreement while exercising caution when placing adverbs within a sentence.
  • As adverbs are used to specify time, probability, or other conditions of a given situation, they play an integral role in helping convey thoughts and ideas in a clear manner. Thus, adverbs should be used carefully, keeping context in mind while applying correct grammar rules to complex sentences.
  • If adverbs are misused then they can lead to potential confusion which can derail readers from the main idea of the text or article.

Following these simple steps will help ensure that adverbs of condition are used accurately and effectively for any sort of writing.

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Learning Adverbs of Condition Strategies and Best Practices

Learning adverbs of condition is a valuable skill for anyone who wants to expand their English language vocabulary. Knowing adverbs of condition helps individuals to be able to express the nuances of their thoughts and feelings more precisely, as adverbs serve an important role in conveying attitudes and opinions.

Strategies and best practices for learning adverbs of condition include making lists, reading examples from literature, memorizing words and phrases through repetition, and studying adverbial clauses that use adverbs of condition.

Additionally, it is recommended to practice using adverbs in writing or during a conversation in order to hone one’s proficiency. With these approaches, individuals can gain a better understanding of adverbs which will enable them to speak and write with greater precision.

Tip 1: Study a List

Why it helps

Learning the various forms and using them properly in speaking and writing is easier than it seems with daily practice. A list can simplify this process and make it seem less daunting.

Daily Life Example

The best way to learn to use adverbs correctly is to study a list of adverbs and their usages, then practice writing sentences with them.

Tip 2: Practice Reading

Why it helps

Exposing yourself to adverbs hidden between other words can help you identify them faster and with more accuracy.

Daily Life Example

To ensure that you understand how frequently an adverb should be used it’s important to practice reading with them as well, so the meanings become clear. So keep a book of your choice on hand and highlight every adverb you come across.

Tip 3: Everyday Conversations

Why it helps

By applying the adverbs of condition exercise to everyday conversations, you’ll find these words easy to remember and use in the near future.

Daily Life Example

Take your time when speaking to people. Take note of the adverbs they use, and try and repeat them back in different contexts. You can also do this from the comfort of your home by recording yourself or using an AI assistant.

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Adverbs of Condition Frequently Asked Questions

Common adverbs of condition include: ‘otherwise’, ‘provided that’, ‘given that’ and ‘in case’. These adverbs can be used to frame a statement in terms of contingencies and qualifications, putting both ideas into focus and highlighting the roles that each plays in the overall point being made. Additionally, adverb questions are especially effective when writing persuasive pieces or making arguments as they help add nuance to complex topics by exploring their possible outcomes.

Adverbs are a useful grammatical tool that allows writers to supplement a sentence by providing context. Examples of adverbs can include:

-adverbs of manner
-adverbs of frequency
-adverbs of intensity
-adverbs of certainty
-adverbs of condition

Adverbs of condition indicate the extent to which a clause of time is possible or likely. An example would be ‘possibly’ or ‘perhaps’ in the sentence “You may possibly find the answer there.” Adverbs are a great way for writers to add extra meaning and flavour to their text with common conjunctions.

When trying to answer the question of whether “would” is an adverb, it’s important to note that language with adverbs is words that modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. In particular, “would” is an adverb of condition that is used to indicate a wish or desire in relation to what could happen in the future.

For example, we might say “I would go if I had enough money”. In this case, “would” is expressing that going is contingent on having enough money. Therefore, due to its ability to modify words grammatically and express conditional wishes about the future, we can easily classify “would” as an adverb clause.

To ensure proper adverb usage, it’s essential to understand the different types of adverbs. Adverbs of condition, such as “when” and “if”, are typically used to explore hypothetical scenarios and link two clauses together.

Other examples of sentences where verb phrases are proficiently used in this manner are adverbs of degree; these types of clauses describe how much or how little something is done and indicate its intensity.

Lastly, adverbs of time are used to indicate when a certain action occurs; this phrase of time can be placed at the beginning or end of a sentence.

There are seven different types of adverbs which can help to improve sentence clarity and structure in your everyday language. These include:

-adverbs of time
-adverbs of degree
-adverbs of manner
-adverbs of frequency
-adverbs of place
-adverbs of certainty
-adverbs of condition

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