, an adjunct
is any word, phrase, or clause joined to another word or phrase to qualify or modify it. It could be of two kinds, adverbial
, if it modifies a verb or verb phrase, or adnominal
, if it modifies a noun or noun phrase.
An adverbial adjunct is a sentence element that establishes the circumstances in which the action or state expressed by the verb take place.
The following sentence uses adjuncts of time and place:
- Yesterday Lorna saw the dog in the garden.
This definition can be extended to include adjuncts that modify nouns or other parts of speech (see noun adjunct):
- The large dog in the garden is very friendly.
Adjuncts are always extranuclear; that is, removing an adjunct leaves a grammatically well-formed sentence. They can thus be contrasted with complements. All adjuncts are adverbials.
An adjunct can be a single word, a phrase, or a clause. Single word : She will leave tomorrow. Phrase : She will leave in the morning. Clause : She will leave after she has had breakfast.
Semantic function of adverbial adjuncts
Adverbial adjuncts establish circumstances for the nuclear of a sentence, which can be classified as followings: Temporal : Temporal adjuncts establish when, for how long or how often a state or action happened or existed.
- He arrived yesterday. (time point)
- He stayed for two weeks. (duration)
- She drinks in that bar every day. (frequentive) Locative : Locative adjuncts establish where, to where or from where a state or action happened or existed.
- She sat on the table. (locative)
- She drove to London. (directional locative) Modicative : Modicative adjuncts establish how the action happened or the state existed, or modifying its scope.
- He ran with difficulty. (manner)
- He stood in silence. (state)
- He helped me with my homework. (limiting) Causal : Causal adjuncts establish the reason for, or purpose of, an action or state.
- The ladder collapsed because it was old. (reason)
- She went out to buy some bread. (purpose) Instrumental : Instrumental adjuncts establish the instrument of the action.
- Mr. Bibby wrote the letter with a pencil. Agentive : Agentive adjuncts establish the agent of the action.
- The letter was written by Mr. Bibby. Conditional : Conditional adjuncts establish the condition in which sentence becomes true.
- I would go to Paris, if I had the money. Concessive : Concessive adjuncts establish the contrary circumstances.
- Lorna went out although it was raining.
Adverbial adjunct and adverbial complement distinguished
An adjunct must always be a removable, i.e. extranuclear, element in the sentence. In the sentence below in the park can be removed and a well-formed sentence remains.
- John drank a beer in the park. (locative adjunct)
In the sentence below, however, in the park is part of the nucleus of the sentence and cannot be removed. It is thus not an adjunct but an adverbial complement.
- John is in the park. (locative complement)