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An adverbial is a word, phrase, or clause that contributes circumstantial information to the clause or sentence, such as information about time, place or manner. Adverbials can be formed from adverbs or adverb phrases (such as carefully, very often, really fast), from prepositional phrases (such as on Sunday, at home, in two days' time), from noun phrases (such as last week, this afternoon) and from adverbial clauses (such as when I was six, as soon as I know).

Some adverbials are external to the sentence, and convey the speaker's attitude or stance, as in Frankly, I don't give a damn. Others have a linking function, as in On the other hand, .... By the way, ...