Spanish Grammar


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Adverbial clauses of manner in Spanish are one of the subordinate clauses that express how the action of the main verb is done. Since they are adverbial clauses, they work as an adverb, and they can be replaced by expressions like “así” or “de esta manera” (like this, in this way).

For example: Yo cocino como me enseñó mi madre = yo cocino de esta manera.

In order to form them, we can use different linkers and also the gerund form. At the same time, the subordinate verb can be used in indicative or subjunctive. Let’s see all these options:

Subordinate Clauses of Manner Using indicative

As we said before, the adverbial clauses of manner in Spanish can be introduced by linkers. The most common one is “como”, but there are many:

Como, tal y como, así como, de acuerdo con lo que, del mismo modo que, tal cual, según…

If the speaker is conscious of the way that the action of the main verb is done, they should use indicative. Here you have some examples:

For example:

  • Estudia español como te aconsejó tu profesor en Spanishviaskype.
  • Debo instalar el ordenador de acuerdo con lo que indica el manual.

In both examples, the speakers know how the teacher adviced the student and how I should install the computer.

Adverbial Clauses of Manner in Spanish with Present Subjunctive

On the other hand, if the speakers are not aware of the way they should do the action, they must use the present subjunctive.

For example:

  • Haz la ensalada como quieras; a mí me gusta todo.
  • Martínez, debe usted terminar el proyecto tal y como pueda; pero mañana lo quiero en mi mesa.

In the first sentence, both, the speaker and the other person don’t know how the salad will be done. In the second one, Martínez’ boss doesn’t matter how his employee will finish the Project.

When to Use the Past Subjunctive

The adverbial clauses of manner in Spanish can be formed as a comparison in an irreal hypothesis. In this case, we need the past tenses of subjunctive and only some linkers allow this: como, igual que, tal y como, del mismo modo que, followed by the conjunction si.

We use the imperfect subjunctive to talk about the present or future:

For example: Mi mejor amiga está muy enfadada conmigo; actúa como si no me conociera.

On the other hand, we need the pluperfect subjunctive for the past:

For example: ¿Qué te pasó ayer? Te quedaste igual que si hubieras visto a un fantasma.

The Gerund on the Adverbial Clauses of Manner in Spanish

The last construction we are going to learn is the use of the gerund form (hablando, comiendo, escribiendo) to express adverbial clauses of manner in Spanish. This non-personal form of the verbs can be used as an adverb and may mean cause, condition or time, but also the way an action is done. Let’s see how:

For example: Necesito mejorar mi expresión oral reservando clases de conversación en

Reading this article in only one of the ways you can learn the adverbial clauses of manner in Spanish. There are many others. For example, booking some lessons with us. But in the meantime, you can test yourself. Leave a comment below and tell us how you learn Spanish, how you cook your favourite dish or how you usually work.

Infographic about adverbial clauses of manner in Spanish Grammar