An adverbial phrase is a group of words that does the work of an adverb. Remember, adverbs tell us more about verbs: how, where or when something happened/is happening/will happen.

Example of an adverbial phrase of manner (how something happened/is happening/will happen): No matter how angry he gets, he always speaks in a polite tone of voice. “Speaks” is a verb, and “in a polite tone of voice” tells us how he speaks.

Example of an adverbial phrase of time (when something happened/is happening/will happen): After writing exams, the students will go on holiday. “Go” is a verb, and “after writing exams” tells us when the students will go.

Example of an adverbial phrase of place (where something happened/is happening/will happen): The trade union members marched to the head office in the city, to demand higher wages. “Marched” is a verb, and “to the head office in the city” tells us where the trade union members marched.

Besides adverbial phrases of manner, time and place, there are also adverbial phrases of reason. Adverbial phrases of reason tell us more about why something happened/is happening/will happen. Example: Terrified of the storm, the dog ran away. In this sentence, the adverbial phrase of reason tells us why the dog ran away.

So remember, to find an adverbial phrase, first find the verb and see what pieces of sentence answer how, when, where and why after the verb.