Placing the verb before the subject in a sentence is also known as a form of “anastrophe,” the inversion of the natural word order (subject-verb-object) which dominates the English language.  The following sentences open with adverbs or prepositional phrases.  Notice that the verb precedes the subject.


1. Beside the house grew a large maple tree.

2. Along the avenue sped a new Corvette.

3. Closer and closer floated the blimp.

4. Across the page sear the frightening” images.

5. Higher and higher rose the suspense.


Appositives—nouns or pronouns—extend the meaning of preceding nouns or pronouns.  As nonrestrictive (or non-essential) modifiers, they require commas to set them off from the rest of the sentence.  Restrictive (essential) appositives and those used as part of a person’s name require no commas.

Appositives define, identify, or rename ideas, objects, places, or people.  An appositive consists of a noun (I love my mother, Gertrude!) or a noun phrase (I hate my uncle, that incestuous regicide!)


1. Alan Lupo, a onetime reporter and dogged historical researcher, provides some thoughtful answers.

2. George Eliot, a great 19th century novelist, wrote with sympathy, wisdom, and realism about English country people and small towns.

3. Penicillin, a powerful drug, has won medical acceptance.

4. In a touching tribute to George Gershwin, a famous American composer, the orchestra played “Rhapsody in Blue”.

5. Cormier’s brilliant simile, “her eyes like shattered marbles,” makes visual the mother’s terror.

6. Huck Finn, a coming of age novel, depicts a boy journeying down the Mississippi River, encountering every aspect of unseemly life.

7. William the Conqueror invaded England from Normandy.

8.  A former San Jose Spartan quarterback, Jeff Garcia, has played for the San Francisco 49ers and now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

9.  Andy Kaddaber, that gleeful mortician, fell into despair when his afternoon appointment  suddenly wrapped her fingers around his throat.


An adverbial clause has a subject and predicate, but cannot stand alone, serving as part of the sentence. Adverbial clauses modify verbs, adjectives, adverbs, or main clauses. They usually express a relationship of time, place, direction, cause, effect, condition, manner, or concession.  Here is a list of some common subordinating conjunctions:

If Until Since Before
Though Although As long as  
As if When Unless Because
Wherever In order that As After
While So that Whereas Whenever
Provided that Even though Whenever Just as

When an adverbial clause opens a sentence, follow it with a comma.


1.  After she seized control, the situation changed drastically.

2.  Although he chirped away like a happy bird, I knew John’s sorrow.

3.  Because Edgar Allen Poe writes with unique structure and vocabulary, readers readily recognize his works.

4.  Before I could even get to my feet to defend myself, she bent down and gave me a clip across the ear

5.  If the barometer drops sharply, a change in the weather will occur.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

Leave a Reply

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

Post comment