1. Maxitoutwriter
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    Maxitoutwriter Member

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    What is an adverbial clause error and how does it work?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Maxitoutwriter, Nov 7, 2012.

    Example:

    Some people buy pitchers with built-in filters, [omit comma] while others have faucet-mounted filters. [adverbial clause error]

    I was wondering how this is wrong because I was pretty sure that that was an introductory comma. Can anyone explain what an adverbial clause error is?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. BethBeth
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    BethBeth New Member

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    An adverbial clause or phrase (as I'm sure you know) is the use of several words in a sentence used as an adverb. For example,
    "A child played happily on the beach while I strolled by."
    while I strolled by. being the adverbial clause.
    This can also be reversed, as in
    "While I strolled by, a child played happily on the beach."
    But in this case, the comma is required to separate the clauses.
    With your sentence, am I right in assuming the remarks in square brackets are some automated response that has flagged it as an error? If so, I think this may be because the word 'while' has made the software think it is an adverbial clause relating to time, like the sentence I used in the example. In this case, it assumes the content is in the order of my first example sentence and as such does not require a comma. As a human reading it though, it seems clear to me (in my very humble opinion!) that the comma you have used is correct as your use of the word 'while' signifies an alternative action as opposed to being a time related adverbial clause.
    At least that is how I see it, hope this helps,
     
  3. Maxitoutwriter
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    Maxitoutwriter Member

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    Thanks.

    Nope, that is a reply that one of the writers received from an editor on the site I work for, and I've been trying to figure out why they were dinged for it. Although, I guess the website demands a certain writing style so that could be why.
     
  4. BethBeth
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    BethBeth New Member

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    Ho hum, count me as mystified then! I guess you are right about the writing style unless anyone else can shed light on this? Sorry I couldn't have been more help :(
     
  5. Maxitoutwriter
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    Maxitoutwriter Member

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    It's okay, at least you tried to answer it.
     
  6. BethBeth
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    BethBeth New Member

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    "Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing." Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables :)
     

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