Noun Clause

Noun Clause

A Noun clause is a group of words in a sentence which contains its own Subject and predicate and functions as a noun.

Read the following pair of sentences:

  1. Father heard of your success. (‘of your arrival’ is a prepositional phrase)
    Father heard that you had succeeded. (‘that you had succeeded’ is a noun clause)
  2. Your arrival was quite unexpected. (‘your arrival’ – noun phrase)
    That you would arrive was quite unexpected. (‘that you would arrive’ – noun clause)

In the first pair ‘that you had succeeded’ has a subject ‘you’ and the verb succeeded’ therefore it is a clause. Since it is functioning as a noun in the sentence we call it a noun clause.

Similarly, in the second pair of sentences, ‘that you would arrive’ has a subject ‘you’ and verb ‘arrive’. It is also a noun clause.

Now, in the above examples, the sentence contains phrases as mentioned in the brackets. Phrases are part of the sentence but they do not have a Subject or a Predicate and are unable to make any sense on their own. It is the difference between a phrase and a clause.

A Noun clause can be used in a sentence as:

Noun clause in a sentence
Noun clause in a sentence

1. A subject of a sentence/verb.

Look at the following sentences:

  • That they will attack is certain.
  • Whoever completes his/her assignment first gets chocolate.
  • What he did at the party really made me said.

2. The Object of a transitive verb.

Read the following sentences:

  • Nobody knows where she has gone.
  • I am not sure whether they will consider our proposal.
  • They did not know that we had sent a proposal.
  • Does she know if he is coming?
  • Please ask your sister what she is cooking for dinner.

3. The Object of a preposition.

Read the following sentences:

  • All depends on how we perform today.
  • It is more a question of how they did it than where they did it.
  • Lee should not be held accountable for what his father does.
  • There were no suggestions except that the duration of the course should be increased.

4. Subject complement.

Look at the following sentences:

  • This is where the Huntsman lives.
  • The Huntsman is not what is generally considered loyal.
  • My request is that he may be allowed to go now.

5. Adjective complement.

Read the following sentences:

  • He was happy (that) you have decided to go.
  • The Queen is unsure if the Huntsman is coming.

6. In apposition to a Noun or a Pronoun.

Look at the following sentences:

  • Your statement that Bagheera found the human child in the jungle will not be believed.
  • The news that Sher Khan was killed is untrue.
  • It is clear that he escaped.

Apposition means when two phrases or clauses refer to the same thing. As in the first example, ‘statement’ and the part ‘that Bagheera…’ refer to the same thing or in other words one gives more information about the other.

This is all about the Noun clause and its uses in a sentence.

Thanks for reading:)

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