Adverbs of purpose

Adverbs of purpose examples

Some adverbs tell you how or how often something happened. Others tell you when or where something happened.

Adverbs of Purpose tell why something happened. They answer the question “why?” Common purpose adverbs are in case, so that, and in order to. These words are usually combined with purpose clauses.

Examples include:
  • I packed an umbrella in case it rains.
    (in case it rains → adverb of purpose—answers the question “why”—modifies the verb “packed”)
  • We left early so that we could beat the traffic.
    (so that we could beat the traffic → adverb of purpose—answers the question “why”—modifies the verb “left”)

Infinitive phrases are often used as adverbs of purpose.

Examples include:
  • Santa Claus went to an asteroid to deliver a present to Floyd.
    (to deliver a present to Floyd → adverb of purpose—answers the question “why”—modifies the verb “went”)
  • Danny had to fly fast to keep up with Annie.
    (to keep up with Annie → adverb of purpose—answers the question “why”—modifies the verb “fly”)
  • Dinosaur Joe thought fast to find a way to grab the UFO.
    (to find a way to grab the UFO → adverb of purpose—answers the question “why”—modifies the verb “thought”)