Adverb Clause

Is it a good practice to use two adverb clauses in one sentence, as shown in the following example? “When I saw her, she was eating lunch while talking with a friend.
The two clauses “When … ” and “while …” each indicate the time of an action. As a rule, should we attach only one adverb-clause to the main clause? Attaching two adverb clauses seems to make the whole sentence awkward.    Tim D.  Potomac, MD

Answer: Although awkward, there is no rule about the number of adverb clauses  (explaining where, when or why). The cited sentence is correct; but since both clause refer to time (“when” and “while”), one almost has to read twice to get the meaning. Much smoother, in this case, to write: “When I saw her, she was eating lunch and talking with a friend.”

Bookmark the permalink.

Comment on this FAQ

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *