Adverb Clause and
Complex Sentence Practice

There are a number of complex sentences for adverb clause (& other clause) practice in this essay on Steve Job’s Stanford commencement address.  Choose the best word or phrase (subordinate conjunction) from the list below to fill in each blank in the essay.

You may not need all of these conjunctions, and you will need some more than once. If you aren’t sure which to choose, think of the ideas Jobs shared. (Links to the speech and to the answers are at the bottom of the page. You can also print these questions and their answers as a pdf and work offline. Right click to download.)

after, even though, if, since, that, what, when, where

Steve Jobs made several important points in his Stanford speech. He talked about how we can only see the patterns in our lives (“connect the dots”) ____________experiences are over. We need to take steps and make decisions _____________we can’t be sure of the results. ____________his team was developing the Apple computer, he finally realized the full value of his study of calligraphy and proportional fonts.

He said ____________failure had freed him to try new things. _____________it was painful at the time, it was good for him in the end. He encouraged the Stanford graduates to “do what you love,” _____________real satisfaction in life depends on doing “____________you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

He also stated ____________remembering death helps us live better. If we are conscious we will die, it will help us make decisions based on ____________really matters to us.  

Choose the answer that best explains the
adverb clause meaning.

(Read them carefully. Some of the adverb clause meanings are tricky.)

1. Before Steve’s parents could adopt him, they had to promise they would send him to college.

              A. Steve’s parents were allowed to adopt him even though they promised to send him to college.

              B. Steve’s parents promised to adopt him if he would go to college.

              C. Steve’s parents could only adopt him if they promised to send him to college.

              D. After Steve’s parents adopted him, they promised to send him to college.

2. Even after Jobs learned he had cancer, he believed death is necessary to make room for “the new.”

              A. Jobs thought death had an important purpose until he faced cancer himself.

              B. Jobs thought death had an important purpose although he knew he would die soon.

              C. After Jobs learned he had cancer, he began to think about death for the first time.

3. As much as scientists would like to, they have not yet discovered a method to stop the aging process.

              A. Scientists haven’t discovered a way to stop aging, even though they want to do so.

              B. Scientists will discover a way to stop aging because they want to.

              C. If scientists really wanted to, they could stop the aging process.

4. As soon as the research team finishes their current project, they want to develop a new approach to publishing data so their colleagues can find the information they need more readily.

              A. If the research team finishes their current project soon enough, they will publish their results so colleagues can find the information.

              B. Because the research team is almost finished their project, they will publish its results.

              C. After the research team finishes what they are working on now, they plan to create a better way to make data available to their colleagues.

5. The corporation didn’t announce a date for the release of their new product because they wanted plenty of time to focus on quality.

              A. Since their focus is on quality, the corporation hasn’t set a release date for their new product.

              B. The corporation hasn’t set a public release date for their product because of its quality focus.

              C. After the corporation focuses on quality, they will release their product.

6. Which of these has an opposite meaning to the others?

              A. I enjoy reading, but I need to finish my work before I relax with a good book.

              B. Once I have finished my jobs for the day, I like to read.

              C. Even though reading is great, work has to come first.

              D. Because my priority is reading, other duties must wait.

              E. While reading is my favorite pastime, I take care of my responsibilities before indulging in it.

For Answers to the Adverb Clause Practice, click here.

Here is an explanation of complex sentences, including adverb clauses and the most common subordinating conjunctions that start them.

Click here to read or listen to Job’s original speech if you are interested. It’s only fifteen minutes and worth it!

Return from Adverb Clause Practice to English Grammar Lessons.

Return to home page.

Top Of Page

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search

Sign-up for our free newsletter, English Detective for interesting reading, vocabulary practice, puzzles, and more in your inbox every month. 

For information (and a free bonus), see Building Vocabulary 

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you English Detective.

New! Comments

What do you think about what you just read? Leave me a comment in the box below.

Didn't find what you needed? Try explaining what you want in a few words in the search box below. (For example, cognates, past tense practice, or 'get along with.') Look under the ads (with a light-colored background) to see the related pages on EnglishHints.