Circumstance is one of the main aspects of our experiences. It is the third element of a clause. (The other two elements are Process and Participants)

Circumstances are expressed as either adverbial groups or prepositional phrases.

e.g. She talked too much.  (She is the participants, talked is the process, too much is the circumstance)

There are nine types of circumstances.

  1. EXTENT:

a. Distance: We have been walking for three kilometers.

b. Duration: She has been standing still for 30 minutes.

c. Frequency: He visits us now and then.


a. Place: He hid behind the door.

b. Time: You had better call him tomorrow afternoon.


a. Means: Don’t open this with your teeth.

b. Quality: She punched me hard.

c. Comparison: The two boys are singing like professional singers.

d. Degree: We highly appreciate his time.

 4. CAUSE:

a. Reason: He got scholarship owing to his academic achievement.

b. Purpose: He made himself caught with the aim of his child’s safety.

c. Behalf: She spoke for her mother.


a. Condition: Fill up your tank in case of no gas station nearby.

b. Default: We had better postpone the plan failing a rejection from them.

c. Concession: Despite her high intelligence, she wasn’t accepted to fill in for this position.


a. Comitative: She never goes outside without her mom.

b. Additive: I need no more besides my beloved family.

7. ROLE:

a. Guise: As one of the authorities here, Ms. Lee commanded us to leave.

b. Product: The children can recompose the song into their own song.

8. MATTER: The manager is explaining about the strategy of marketing.


a.  Source: In the words of Mr. Dire, there will be a promotion for some employers.

b. Viewpoint: For me, the questions are quite hard.

Learn this table:

Extent How far, for how long, how often
Location Where, when
Manner with a key, by magic, quietly, with some hesitation, similarly, in a different way, like, greatly, a bit, etc.
Cause because of, thanks to, owing to, (what) for, for the purpose of, (who) for, on behalf of
Contingency In case of, in the event of, in default, in the absence of, failing, in spite of, despite
Accompaniment with, without, as well as, instead of, besides
Role by way of, in the form of, into (what)
Matter about what (subject matter)
Angle according to, in the words of, in my opinion, for me



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