An adverb clause is a dependent clause that answers the question why? how? where? when? Adverb clauses begin with a subordinating conjunction like when, because, even though.

Ex. Even though she could not drive, Bonnie's father bought her a new car for graduation.

(NOTE: You could write: Even when she could not drive...but that completely changes meaning of sentence. They are not interchangeable.)


Q: Is "even when" a subordinating conjunction as well? A google search often lists "even though", "even if" as examples but I haven't seen "even when" in any lists so far.

"Even when he is sick, she works."

  1. So, is "even when" a subordinating conjunction introducing the adverb clause or is "even" an adverb qualifying "works"?

  2. Typically you can move around adverb clauses. If so, which is the correct rewrite of the above to keep same meaning? (Subtle shift between each.)

She works even when he is sick.

She even works when he is sick.

Depending on the answers, is this grammatically sound?

"When he is sick, she even works."

  • JoCuz, there is more confusion than anything in your Question. Most obviously can you define and explain any context where even when and even though are not wholly interchangeable, please? After that, could you rephrase the Question? Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 18:58
  • Jo, thanks for those edits and could you please concentrate on your own Question: Is “even when” a subordinating conjunction similar to “even though”? Semantically, of course there’s a difference but that’s very slight. Grammatically yes, absolutely; even when is in every way similar to even though. Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


'even when' is not interchangeable with 'even though' because the former one signifies something that happens occasionally while the latter one signifies something that always done or a fact.

Sheela doesn't want the ice cream even though she likes it so much.

Here, Sheela liking the ice cream is a fact.

Sheela doesn't want the ice cream even when she likes it so much.

Here, we are signifying the rarity of the event. For example, Sheela likes the ice cream during summer noon or something like that but not on every day of the year.

Now, 'even' is not an adverb that qualifies works.

She even works.

This isn't an independent clause because it's not a complete unit of thought.

She even works when she is sick.

So this sentence doesn't become a compound sentence because there's no independent clause.

Adverbial clauses can be moved around in full, but not in parts as that will change the meaning of the sentence.

Even when she's sick, she works. (Grammatically correct)

She works even when she's sick. (Grammatically correct as well)

She's great because even when she's sick, she works. (Grammatically correct)

Now, personally, I think 'even when' can be used as a coordinating conjunction. However, some people prefer to put a comma before even though to avoid confusion.

"When she's sick, she even works."

This isn't grammatically sound because she even works isn't a compound sentence as I've already said above.

Hope, it clarified things.

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