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To my understanding, an adverbial clause can modify any verb (or entire predicate/sentence) in a sentence.

a) I like you when you are funny because you have a father who taught you how to be funny.

The underlined adverbial clause is meant to modify the adjacent adverbial clause in italics, but when the sentence is read, it sounds like the underlined clause SHOULD modify the main clause in blue," but this would of course make no sense.

In this sentence, the underlined adverbial clause modifies the adjacent adverbial clause in italics (I suppose one could argue that it actually modifies the main clause, but couldn't one also say that it modifies the adverbial?):

b) This is an example of a situation where I should pay because you paid last time.

Is there a rule I should know about to clear up this confusion regarding what clause modifies what?
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English 1b3Is there a rule I should know about to clear up this confusion regarding what clause modifies what?
Yes. The rule is "Use your common sense. If that doesn't work, the sentence is just ambiguous and there's nothing you can do about it." Emotion: smile

In other words there is nothing in the grammatical machinery that disambiguates multiple interpretations in these cases. Sometimes only your knowledge of the real world can help, and sometimes not even that helps.

CJ
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Thanks:

Just to clarify:

So an adverbial clause is able to modify either the verb of another adverbial clause or the verb in the main clause?

If it is unclear what clause (verb) it modifies, re-write it.

Ta
English 1b3Just to clarify:

So an adverbial clause is able to modify either the verb of another adverbial clause or the verb in the main clause?

If it is unclear what clause (verb) it modifies, re-write it.
Exactly.

With a little patience and time, you could probably come up with a hundred examples of these problem cases!

CJ
Good to know!

I think the explanations I've read on adverbials is somewhat misleading, since I'm sure adverbials can modify not only verbs but also solely adjectives:

Angry about my present, since I bought her a more expensive one, I hurled my present accross the room.

The underlined adverbial clause modifies only the adjective angry, correct? No discussions seem to show such examples of adverbials working in this way.
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I could be wrong. The underlined looks more like a dependent clasue than an adverbial to me.