Grammar 5 | Intermediate | CEFR B2

Adverbial Time Phrases

Listen to an explanation about onsens in Japan.

Jane: I was thinking of going to an hot spring in Japan, but I really don't know what to do. I hear it's a little bit complicated.

Mark: Oh, not really, but there are a few steps you need to follow when you go in.

Jane: Really, like what?

Mark: Well, when you first go in, you need to take off your shoes and put them in a locker near the entrance. Then, you need to buy a ticket from a vending machine and give it to the counter person.

Jane: OK, I put my shoes in a locker, buy a ticket and give it to the person at the counter.

Mark: Right, also when you give your ticket to the staff, you need to give them your the key to your shoe locker too. They'll give it back to you when you return.

Jane: OK, I think I got it, and then what?

Mark: Then give your ticket to the person at the counter. They will give you a new locker key for the changing room and two towels. You use the big towel to dry off with after you finish your bath, and the small towel to wash up with before you enter the onsen.

Jane: OK, and what do I do with the locker key?

Mark: You keep it with you. After you lock up your stuff, you need to keep it on you when you're in the onsen.

Jane: Wow, sounds like a lot to remember. I hope I can do it.

Mark: I'm sure you'll be fine. The first time is tricky but you’ll figure it out as you go along.

Grammar Notes

Point 1: We use subordinating conjunctions (before, after, when) to make adverbial time phrases.
  1. I try to sleep when I am sick.
  2. I usually exercise before I go to work.
  3. I study English after I have dinner.
  4. I brush my teeth as soon as I finish eating.
Point 2: Adverbial time phrases can start a sentence. A comma follows the phrase.
  1. When I am sick, I try to sleep.
  2. Before I go to work, I usually exercise.
  3. As soon as I get home, I study English.
  4. After I have dinner, I brush my teeth.
Point 3: With time words before and after, you can use that instead of repeating a clause.
  1. What did you do Sunday?
  2. I went to the park. After that, I went to a cafe.
  3. What did you do Saturday?
  4. I took a test. Before that, I studied some.
Point 4: Notice these words. Once and as soon as mean when. By the time means before.
  1. I am tired by the time I get home.
  2. Flip the egg once it is cooked.
  3. I take off my shoes as soon as I get in the house.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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