Clause Pattern: Subject – Verb – Adverbial (SVA)
Understanding the construction and use of the subject – verb – adverbial clause pattern
This pattern consists of a subject See the glossary definition , a copular verb See the glossary definition , and an obligatory adverbial See the glossary definition .
Without the adverbial the sentence makes no real sense - it is incomplete.
Sneezing is a phenomenon that occursintransitive verb in both people and animals obligatory adverbial . (Sorg 2021) (info) Without the adverbial the sentence is syntactically correct but incomplete.
The answer to this questionsubject liesintransitive verb in how our brains are hardwired to think obligatory adverbial. (Anderson-Sieg 2021) (info)"The answer to this question lies" is clearly incomplete; it needs an adverbial to make sense.
The first onesubject ("one" refers to "ice age" mentioned earlier in the text) happenedintransitive verb about 2 billion years ago obligatory adverb and lastedintransitive verb about 300 million years obligatory adverb . (Su 2022) (info)Two examples in this sentence.
Some [mushrooms] have pores that lookintransitive verb like sponges obligatory adverb . (Hughes 2021) (info)"that look like sponges" is a dependent (relative) clause so there is no subject here.
Common verbs used in this pattern are: be, get, happen, last, lie, look, occur, remain.
Test your understanding of this Subject – Verb – Adverbial (SVA) pattern Go to the (SVA) exercise page.