What Are Adjuncts? (with Examples)An adjunct is a word or words (i.e., a phrase or a clause) which can be removed without making the sentence grammatically wrong.
An adjunct is usually an adverb used to modify a verb. When used as an adverb, an adjunct will usually indicate a time, a manner, a place, a frequency, a reason, or a degree. For example:
Time Adjuncts (Adverbs of Time)Here are some examples of time adjuncts:
- The alarm went off again yesterday.
- In the morning, he will veto the bill.
Manner Adjuncts (Adverbs of Manner)Here are some examples of manner adjuncts:
- Present your case carefully.
- Simon drinks his pints like a demon.
Place Adjuncts (Adverbs of Place)Here are some examples of place adjuncts:
- Here the situation is completely different.
- She buries all her toys wherever Ollie buries his.
Frequency Adjuncts (Adverbs of Frequency)Here are some examples of frequency adjuncts:
- She comes here often.
- Every Tuesday, the shop opens at eight o'clock.
Reason Adjuncts (Adverbs of Reason)Here are some examples of reason adjuncts:
- As it's Friday, you can stay up another hour.
- Expect the tent to leak because it's been in my garage for 30 years.
Degree Adjuncts (Adverbs of Degree)Here are some examples of degree adjuncts:
- You're not as poor as you could have been.
- She is as smart as she is brilliant.
Place your adjunct next to whatever it is modifying to avoid ambiguity. Look at this example:
- Cycling uphill quickly strengthens your calf muscles. (This is not wrong, but it's ambiguous.)
This is called a squinting modifier. This is a better version:
- Cycling uphill strengthens your calf muscles quickly.
Adjuncts cause few problems for native English speakers. The main grammar point is whether to use a comma.
When an adjunct is at the front of a sentence (especially when it's made up of more than one word), it is usual to use a comma.
- A mouse ran across the floor while you were on the phone. (no comma required - adjunct at the end of the sentence)
- While you were on the phone, a mouse ran across the floor. (comma expected - adjunct at the start)
- It is a better standard of living in the north of Scotland. (no comma required - adjunct at the end of the sentence)
- In the north of Scotland, it is a better standard of living. (comma expected - adjunct at the start)